The app everyone is “yak”ing about

By Lauren Benton

Administrators on the Northwest campus blocked the application ‘Yik Yak’ from the campus IT network and blocked the app from the wireless network last week.

“The number of derogatory, inappropriate and hateful posts was overwhelming. We foster an environment of mutual respect at Northwest, so the least we could do was disable it from our campus desktop computers and wireless network. If students choose to use their own data plans to use the app, the college has no control over that,” Sarah Sapp, director of Communications, said.

‘Yik Yak’ is a mobile app that can be downloaded to android and iOS users.

According to techcrunch.com and yikyakapp.com, the start-up was launched by two Forman University students, Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington.  The app aims to connect people through anonymous 200-character messages in Twitter-style.  Location based posts within a five-mile radius, the poster can choose to share with the closest 100, 250 or 500 Yik Yak users.

Posts are deleted when two or more users mark the content as inappropriate, or if someone screenshots offensive content and emails Yik Yak.

I personally saw some of the Yik Yaks posted on our campus and was disgusted. I thought to myself, “How can these posts be so cruel about one another?”

The fact that students participate anonymously is cowardly.

Yik Yak is just another product of social media that our generation can abuse and hide behind. It is an embarrassment that the administrators on our campus had to ban the app from their wifi.

As students, we get praised on this campus for the kind of students we are.  Fellow students, don’t you want to uphold  those standards?

“We have great respect for freedom of speech; we don’t think that should extend to anonymous comments that are derogatory and profane in nature. There are laws against defamation and slander that balance free speech, and this platform for anonymous remarks takes away that equally important right to defend yourself should you so choose,” Dan Smith, vice president for Student Affairs and chief of staff, said.

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