Yik Yak is a social media phenomenon that has received some media coverage lately. So what’s all the hype about?
Yik Yak is an online forum where anyone can post anonymously on a local messaging board. Users then give the message positive or negative votes to increase or decrease its rank. Any message that receives five “downvotes” is deleted, and the user’s “Yakarma” is docked.Users can “peek” at another area’s board.
Yik Yak has shown up in the media for several cyberbullying incidents. In one particularly nasty incident, college students posted degrading messages about a professor during her lecture. Other public and private figures have also been demeaned and harassed on Yik Yak.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Yik Yak; it is a fun idea. However, Yik Yak has become a cesspool of bullying, profanity, and graphic sexual and drug related language. Part of it is the anonymity– users can post anything without fear and without reprisal. Yik Yak has also become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more a social media forum develops a reputation for bullying and profanity, the more bullies and profaners will flock to it.
Yik Yak is only intended for users seventeen years and older, but not confirmation is needed to create an account. Younger teens should be counseled to avoid this app, and hopefully older teens will have the good sense to stay away.
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