Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Since 1907
Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Social media company Fizz makes a buzz at Calvin

Screenshot by Savannah Shustack
Fizz offered to pay students to promote the app on Calvin’s campus this past week.

Fizz, an anonymous social media platform designed for university students, arrived at Calvin this week with a team of Calvin student ambassadors who went around campus passing out doughnuts to students who downloaded and created an account on the app. 

According to the company’s website, Fizz is a start-up company founded by two Stanford University drop-outs who created the app to promote a “new town square” for college campuses. The platform is solely for university students on specific campuses and can only be accessed with an account created through a verified university-affiliated email address. According to Calvin students Kate Deyoung and Logan Gossiaux, Fizz reached out to Calvin students to join their ambassador team a few weeks ago. Deyoung told Chimes that she had not heard of the app before someone referred her to be a possible ambassador.

Fizz’s media outreach is mainly dependent on word of mouth and programs like the one recently run at Calvin. These programs involve paying students at the universities Fizz visits to reach out to other students, hence the term “ambassadors.” 

Student ambassadors that Chimes spoke to took the commission from Fizz because they were offered money to promote the app. Deyoung was told “you can make 50 bucks for trying to get people to download this app on Monday. So I was like, sure,” she said.

Students received $10 for referring another student to be an ambassador, $15 dollars for posting and tagging a premade post on Instagram and $90 for working for three hours passing out doughnuts while inviting people to join the app, according to Gossiaux.

Gossiaux, a student Fizz asked to promote the app, decided not to take any of the commissions from Fizz because “I was just too busy to do anything,” he said.  

Calvin student Ashley Raredon, one of the leads for Fizz’s launch at Calvin, said she was offered a similar money-making opportunity from Fizz through Instagram. 

“I think it’s just kind of another medium for students. It’s kind of just like expanding on like Calvin Confessions,” Raredon told Chimes

Fizz mainly advertises the platform’s anonymity and the fact that content moderation “works like a democratic voting system,” according to their website. Fizz also has posted on their website in multiple places that the company “does not and will never sell your data to anyone.” Also according to their website, the company currently has no way of generating revenue, relying on investors to fund their platform.

Fizz’s launch at Calvin has been successful, and users have seen consistent posting. However, most content quickly became negative and centered around the exiting of former Calvin president Wiebe Boer. Many of these posts were sexually explicit or slanderous to Boer or to the Calvin University administration. 

Other student news organizations have expressed concerns about Fizz’s cybersecurity and data protection, as relayed in an op-ed by the Stanford Daily in 2022. The Bates Student also has written a piece with concerns about the pressuring of moderators to impersonate other students and stir up content generation by posting a minimum of 30 times per day. Fizz has responded to these claims, denying them as issues that have either been resolved or are not in any way part of their mission statement, respectively, according to the Bates Student.

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