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College & Post-Grad

Yik Yak

If you are on a college campus you have likely heard of the new app called "Yik Yak" that has seemingly swept campuses overnight. For those of you that don't know, however, Yik Yak is essentially an anonymous twitter, allowing people to post anything they want and have it be visible to anyone within a 5 mile radius. 

While admittedly some of the posts are highly amusing, I think we can all imagine the dangers and potential ramifications of allowing people to anonymously interact on social media and never face the repercussions or have their name attached to it. 

Users also have the capability to "upvote" and "downvote" a post, changing its score as it gets more or less votes. Fortunately, the app at least has an effective "report" feature that removes any Yak that is reported for being offensive or cruel, and if a post gets too many down votes it is also removed. 

I can't pretend that I am not on this app frequently throughout the day, but after my first 24 hours with the app I realized that whoever decided college students could be mature and friendly enough to anonymously interact with each other was seriously mistaken. I have watched countless people be cruelly victimized, called out for actions both real and fake, and entire student organizations relentlessly ridiculed. Girls have been publicly called out as sluts and whores, while racism and other sexist remarks frequent the page every few minutes. 

We all love a little gossip, it's human nature, but at what point should we draw the line? Personally, as amusing as I find this app to be at times, I don't see it having a long life span for two reasons:

1. The originality of the app rapidly decreased after its initial 48 hours of popularity
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2. The consequences of this app I fear will soon extend beyond someone simply getting their feelings hurt. 

What do you think about people being able to anonymously interact on social media? Do you think people can handle that type of responsibility at any age?

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2 comments

  1. I am fearful of this new app. I am a counselor at a middle school and we already have problems with Snapchat so I can't even begin to imagine the horrors these kids will get into with an app they can post to anonymously. I am glad I am not the only one concerned! Thanks for posting about this.

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    1. I am definitely concerned too! Especially in middle school, I really don't think kids should have access to being anonymous. The app is allegedly supposed to only be for college aged kids+, because the founders seem to think college kids are mature enough to handle it (believe me - they aren't). However, all the app does is say "do you verify you are 17 years or older, and you select yes, so I don't see how they will keep this away from younger kids

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