By: HEATHER GRINKLEY
BETHANY, W.Va – People always want to know the latest gossip or when the nearest party is taking place. Friends will post where parties are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and now a site called “Yik Yak.” But is this new social networking application creating more problems than it is doing good?
Yik Yak was created by Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington who are graduates from the Liberal Arts College of Furman University in Greensville, South Carolina. The app was released in November 2013.
Yik Yak is an anonymous style application that was designed with the college campuses in mind. Yik Yak posts are limited to 200 characters and can be seen by anyone within a 1.5 mile radius of the individual who uploaded the “yak”. Users can immediately post anything they want anonymously and see what other users have posted.
Yik Yak was an app developed with the intention to provide college students alternate means of staying updated on the latest news or events that are happening around their campus, but now it acts like a means of bullying people without people knowing who is doing it. Several students from Bethany College were interviewed about the impact Yik Yak has had on their campus.
The students believed when Yik Yak was first created, it was a great source to go to in order to find out where the parties were, or when classes got cancelled, now students see this site has merged to become a bullying site. What can be done to stop this type of cyberbullying from going any further?
One unique aspect about this site is that it allows other users to remove potentially distasteful or insignificant Yaks. When Yaks receive five down votes or is reported twice, then it is removed from sight.
Yik Yak can either be very helpful to people or it can be scary for other people in fear of seeing something negative being said about them. As a student said in the interview “If you have nothing to say, don’t say anything at all.”