By Isabella Dominesey ‘22 | Idominesey@radford.edu
Yik Yak, the anonymous posting app created in 2013, is back to taking over college campuses after a four-year hiatus. However, many, including myself, are wondering why.
The social media application allows users to post anything under 200 characters anonymously, then broadcast the message to anyone within a five-mile radius.
According to the company’s website, the primary purpose of the anonymous outlet is to reduce the idea of a “label.” In addition, creators wanted to make all users equal, without popularity, beauty, or other superficial traits standing in the form of which “yaks” are seen most.
While taking away labels to give all users, a fair balance seems like a good idea, the execution of this method in practice is anything but positive.
I downloaded Yik Yak after a few of my friends started talking about funny posts they were seeing. During my first few times on the app, reading through everything was pretty fun. However, that quickly took a turn.
The amount of hateful and vulgar “yaks” I’ve seen over the past week has been baffling. The app has been used to make fun of appearances, spread rumors, and ultimately bully people.
Different sororities, fraternities, individual students, and even some school administrators have all been mentioned in unflattering “yaks.”
Sororities have been listed from most to least “hot,” AXP has turned to AX “flea,” and a Greek Life v. GDI (“goddamn independent,” Radford slang for someone unaffiliated with a fraternity life) online war has begun.
This app’s anonymous feature has given people the confidence to post things they would never have the courage to say in real life. They are being mean to others and facing absolutely no repercussions for their words.
The lack of accountability is one of the biggest reasons the app went offline in the first place and is the biggest reason it’s such a problem now.
Yik Yak is undoubtedly a device for harassment and cyberbullying, spreading only negativity.
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