What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's a lot of mean-spirited behavior on this site, and cyberbullying is definitely a risk. You choose a question for your profile, and users are supposed to give their "honest" opinions, which are frequently cruel, inappropriately sexual, or both. You can change your filter settings so people can't post anonymously on your profile, but that only means that comments will be attributed to usernames, which aren't always tied to real-life identities. The site forbids content that's "pornographic, obscene, threatening, harassing, libelous, hate-oriented, racist, illegal, or contains nudity" -- but there's definitely some unsavory stuff that slips through the cracks.
What's it about?
SPILLIT invites you to create a profile and post a probing question -- the default choice is \"What do you like about me?\" -- and wait for insights to come rolling in. Although you can follow people and be followed, there's no \"friending\" feature, which means you can comment on a total stranger's profile and vice versa. There's a chat room that lets you string together pre-scripted phrases, and the site has links to \"games,\" \"humor,\" and \"inspire\" -- but none of those sections has any content.
Is it any good?
If you come to Spillit wanting to know how others truly perceive you, you may get compliments or you may get a barrage of hateful comments from so-called friends or random anonymous users who enjoy tearing people down. Much like Formspring and Facebook's now-defunct Bathroom Wall, Spillit's cloak of anonymity can bring out the worst in people. Teens may be tempted to test the waters to see what others think of them, but it's really not worth it.
Families can talk about...
Talk to your teens about cyberbullying and how anonymity can encourage bad behavior. Do you act differently online when your real identity isn't revealed?
Talk to your teens about what makes a good friend. Why would a "friend" say something bad about you behind your back? How would you handle that situation?
Review our Social Networking Tips and set guidelines for what's OK to post online and what's off limits.