Just when you think that there was an app for everything, there’s a new one out. There are already social media sites out there that are popular, like Facebook and Twitter, but this popular app is kicking it up a notch.
Yik Yak is an app that is an anonymous messaging board. According to techcrunch.com, the app gained over 100,000 users just three months after its launch in November 2013. The app has categories for campuses all over the country.
The app is a forum for people to say whatever they want, because everything is anonymous. These Yaks, as they are called, are then sent out by GPS tracking to the closest 500 people near your location. Many students like this type of forum.
“It is a way to let a thought out there without putting a face to it so you have no predetermined judgement on a person for what they said,” said Zachary Hartman, a freshman communication major.
Although this app is a soundboard for students to say what they want, it has also stirred up controversy on some campuses and even in some high schools. Two boys in the Philadelphia area were charged with felonies for posting school shooting threats on Yik Yak, according to philly.com.
Yik Yak itself is trying to crack down on this type of bullying with posting rules inside the app. The first rule is that “you do not bully or specifically target other yakers.” The site also has a three-time report policy. This states that if your Yak is reported three times, it will be deleted.
Schools are still having issues with the site and parents and even some psychiatrists are worried about the site becoming a hazard and a bomb for cyberbullying. Psychiatrist Keith Ablow stated in a May 9 interview for Fox News:
“Untruthful, mean, character assigning short messages are immediately seen by all users in a specific geographic area.”
Yik Yak is becoming popular on campus and students like Hartman think that this app is fun because of its anonymity, but some students think that the app will be abused.
“I think this will become like LHU Crushes because people will abuse it until it gets shut down,” said Nathan Henderson, a senior communication major.