Yik Yak is a chat app with over 100,000 users that was designed to allow college students to interact anonymously based on their locations. According to ABC News, “‘yakking’ is the welcoming, authentic and anonymous version of tweeting.”
However, psychiatrists are saying it is the “most dangerous app [they’ve] ever seen.” They also say “Yik Yak actually removes all pretense of being a person with empathy, genuinely connected to other human beings.”
After students were posting rumors for a full day on Yik Yak, a Massachusetts school was literally begging their students to stop yakking from its smart phones. There was no further punishment or deterrent put in place.
A myriad of illegal acts are taking place through Yik Yak. Just because a drug deal is made through an anonymous app does not make it any less illegal. There have been numerous bomb threats on the app as well.
Last year, a Massachusetts high school was evacuated twice for these anonymous threats. Schools in Chicago, California and Connecticut have received shooting threats on Yik Yak. It has been disabled by Lake Forest High School in Chicago because of the bullying going on toward students and staff.
Students at Colgate University have even begun protesting due to racist comments on Yik Yak.
At Mercyhurst, there has been bullying and hateful remarks made through Yik Yak. Students at Mercyhurst have been yakking about their parties and then wondering why police are showing up. Anyone local is able to see these posts, including campus administration and Police and Safety.
People believe that just because no one knows who posts, they can say whatever they want. What students don’t realize is that Yik Yak is not entirely anonymous. It is not hard to figure out who everyone is, especially when comments are extremely pointed.