It Looks Like Popular Social App, Yik Yak Is Back. MSU Staff Thinks It’s Risky
Yik Yak was one of the biggest social media apps on the planet, with anonymity as part of the allure, it also ended up leading to its disappearance. Now that it's back, college campuses like Michigan State University are a bit apprehensive.
What is Yik Yak?
Yik Yak was founded in 2013 by Furman University students, Brooks Buffington and Tyler Droll, according to How It Happened.
The app was intended to be one where you could message or post in "chatrooms" based on your location anonymously.
Of course, it became popular on college campuses where you could have thousands of people posting anonymous thoughts, gossip, party information, etc. within the radius allowed by the app. Users could also "upvote" or "downvote" posts that would either boost them to the top or bump them low enough they'd disappear.
However, things took a turn when the anonymity made people show their dark sides and the app became synonymous with bullying, hate speech, false threats and more until it finally disappeared.
Personal Experiences With Yik Yak on Michigan College Campuses
The fall of 2014 was probably peak Yik Yak time, looking back with all things considered, and that was definitely true at Grand Valley State University.
While I never saw anything particularly malicious on the app, it was usually where parties were, what was going on around campus, and the occasional gossip.
I even noticed a lot of people would post about struggling with their mental health while others would recommend resources on or near campus.
One time, though, my backpack caused the romper I was wearing to ride up, exposing my whole right butt cheek. I realized, pulled it back down and thought it would be funny to call myself out and "apologize" to anyone who had seen it. Turned out, I was not the only one who posted about it as I was informed "You must be the one this other post was about."
Now, self-deprecating humor is my jam so I didn't think anything of it...until I had heard Yik Yak was in some hot water over the awful things said elsewhere via the app and realized not everyone is as mean to themselves as I am so that kind of thing doesn't "roll off" as easily.
Why Michigan State University Staff Worries About Yik Yak
Of course, it can become a major distraction but even more serious than that, WILX reports that back in 2015, an MSU student was charged with making a false threat of terrorism against the school.
It was not the only time this had happened due to Yik Yak and the anonymity involved.
However, now that Yik Yak is back, staff at MSU also worries that it is a breeding ground for misinformation.
Also, staff worries people would use the app to call out professors and other staffers...which, I mean, is going to happen with any platform (ever heard of Rate My Professors?) but the concern is still valid.
Yik Yak's Updated Community Guidelines
Since Announcing the app's return in August of 2021, Yik Yak also has updated their guidelines, or rather, "Community Guardrails."
These new guidelines are a clear attempt to circumvent the issues and criticism the app previously had including banning the sharing of people's identities, personal attacks, sharing of personal information, bigotry, threats of violence, promoting suicide, and more outlined on the Yik Yak website.
You also will find they have added specific mental health and "stay safe" resources.
What do you think? Are you team "Yik Yak Forever" or do you think it should have stayed away?