Yik Yak was an app that rose to fame back in 2013-2014, as an anonymous way to talk with anyone in a five-mile radius of you, in real time.
A common app used among college students at the time, many users at the time utilized it in friendly ways and used it to engage with their community.
In 2017, the app gained infamy for the simple fact that the app was becoming the app of choice for bullies, and it had more than one case of life-threatening messages sent via the messenger.
Gun violence, bullying and other insensitive behavior was becoming rampant and remained so until the app’s closure in May of 2017 due to low interest and lower funds. On their homepage, there is no mention of the new security measures, simply advertising their reopening of the app.
A few examples of these incidents are as follows: Matthew Mullen made threats to shoot up a school in Michigan, Hunter Park was arrested for threatening to perform racially charged assaults and two other schools were forced to evacuate their student body under a bomb threat made over the app.
Students, both on VSU and off it seem to agree that the app should have remained in the grave. Not a single student was willing to use Yik Yak, even when informed of the new changes to the system to condemn bullying and bad behavior.
Many students were not even aware of what “Yik Yak” was in the first place.
Alex (Jarod) Russell, a Jacksonville University junior, said that the efforts are “a decent policy, but I still would probably never use it.”
Similarly, Kayla Weeks of Santa Fe agreed with him.
She said, “Due to all the trouble it’s already had I don’t think it could do anything to help.”
I inquired about this app further towards random individuals and received the following answer from a guest to my dorm.
Savannah, a VSU freshman, said she would not use the app.
“Even if they fixed the rules, I don’t use things like that,” Aiyana, a junior at VSU, said.
The vast majority in Valdosta, and even in other schools, seem to agree unanimously that the app is still a risk not to be taken, even if Yik Yak implements a new set of rules and security measures.
Despite the policy changes and the anti-harassment measures, it seems that students aren’t at all ready to give this app another chance, and the history is too severe to ignore.
Written by Amanda Russell, Spectator Reporter. Photo courtesy of Flickr.