Yik Yak is not as innocent as it seems

Emma Trinh, Contributing Writer

The anonymous social media app “Yik Yak” is fueling cyber bullying and school threats across campuses nationwide.

Launched in 2013 by Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington, “Yik Yak” was intended for use by college students as a virtual bulletin board. The app is similar to Twitter, where users can post messages and “like” posts, except there is no need to create an account or username. In other words, it is completely anonymous and users have no responsibility for what they post.

While the “bulletin board” idea that Droll and Buffington originally envisioned seems to have fairly pure intentions, there is an obvious and dangerous implication that this app would be used in a malicious way because of its inherent flaw of anonymity.

The bullying seen in high schools seems much more vicious than that seen at a college level, undoubtedly a result in differences of maturity.  “Bullying is already a huge issue for our generation; I definitely don’t think it’s a good app for high schoolers to have,” senior Amy Lee said. Bucks County, Pennsylvania was recently terrorized when Eric Wood of Pennridge High School posted on the app of his plans to bring a gun to school on October 8, which was resolved when police tracked the IP address back to him, according to Montgomery News.

“The app is terrible. People are mean, and it’s because everything’s anonymous; there’s no backlash for their comments,” senior Nikki Azodi said.

“We designed the app primarily for college students…the way we intended it to be used requires a certain amount of maturity and responsibility,” Buffington said in an interview with Huffington Post.

In the wake of such opposition to the app, “Yik Yak” has implemented a GPS system to ensure that users within a 10 mile radius of a high school will not be able to post anything. However, the GPS system covers only 80% of high school campuses across the country and is still available to users once they simply leave the geo fenced zone, according to Huffington Post.

While the ominous app has taken precautions in response to opposition, “Yik Yak” remains an outlet for anonymous attacks across campuses. While there is no way to stop people from being malicious, the end of anonymous apps like “Yik Yak” could curb and control the viciousness of high school cyber bullying.