Have you ever been hesitant to send out a tweet because your name is attached to the message? Well, with the social media mobile application, Yik Yak, you will never need to subtweet again! Yik Yak allows users to create and view anonymous “Yaks” within a 1.5 to 10 mile radius of their location. Anyone within that range has the ability to reply to a Yak and vote up or vote down. The app was created to be a bulletin board for college campuses, so they can discuss anything that is going on around that area. So what’s the problem? Unlike most social media platforms, you can share anonymous messages and not have to worry about the consequences. This single aspect alone has caused some good, but mostly bad and ugly news for Yik Yak in recent months.
Allowing users to express themselves freely over social media is not always a bad thing. Although we all know some people who will say whatever, whenever, the majority of users online will sensor themselves to a certain extent. While all messages are unidentified, Yik Yak is a great place for someone to reach out to others without being judged or made fun of. Any hot topics going around town or on campus can be discussed without any concerns.
The majority of Yaks that are posted are made to be amusing. Have you ever read a funny post on Facebook or Twitter but did not like it because you don’t like who posted it? Don’t lie; we all do that from time to time. With Yik Yak, people can judge your humor based solely on the content itself and not who’s writing it. People who write popular content will have their Yaks listed on the “Hot” tab, which is displayed on the home screen. This is a great way for students to vent out their day-to-day problems while being comical at the same time.
The Bad & the Ugly
Along with the good, there are some bad and even ugly aspects to Yik Yak. Since it’s launch in 2013, the app has been very popular across many college campuses, like it was designed to be for. Unfortunately, some people have been using the app to post threats and to bully others. Several Universities and school districts have decided to take action and ban the app altogether. At times, the cyber bullying has been so harsh that it led to students dealing with depression and suicide.
As recent as November 3rd 2015 a Fresno State football player was arrested for writing a threatening Yik Yak post. Although all Yaks are anonymous, police officers were able to track down the phone number used to send the Yak. This incident is another example of how Yik Yak can be a dangerous place to communicate with others.
In order to eliminate some of the inappropriate messages, if a Yak gets -5 likes it will disappear. The only issue is that the users on Yik Yak are the ones monitoring the Yaks on the app. In order for a certain Yak do be deleted, it would have to receive those down votes, otherwise the Yak will most likely stay on the app.
As you can see, Yik Yak has been a very controversial app over the past couple of years. What do you think? Does Yik Yak seem like an app you would be interested in using? If so, remember to take the good with the bad and avoid the ugly! Stay up-to-date on the latest social media applications on the TB Blog.