Anonymous app, Yik Yak has been receiving criticisms every since it launched. All these criticisms were not surprised as due to its anonymous feature, users post mean and hurtful comments with more frequencies and less consequences. As for now, there are some campuses already banned this controversial app, while some campuses are still protesting on banning it. With controversies surrounding around Yik Yak, is it really that bad?

Well, to stand in the neutral stance, I will show some of both positive and negative cases and facts about Yik Yakr, and you can be the judge to determine if Yik Yak is good or bad.

Yik Yak was criticized for building a platform that allows cyberbullying, and these cyberbullying topics includes racism and sexual harassment. Not only it allows cyberbullying, it was also used by other users to post threatening comments. Up till now, at least 6 students were arrested for posting threatening post in Yik Yak. Using the most famous Missouri case as an example, two students said:” I’m going to shoot any black people tomorrow, so be ready”.  Due to Yik Yak’s anonymous feature, students never thought of the possibility of being tracked down for their presumptuous behavior, which explains why they dare to make such statement.  In the end of the day, no matter if students meant it or not, it has created a huge panic attack within campus area, and is the main argument used by student bodies to ban this anonymous app. With cases of armed threatening violence post continuously posted, it let people questioned the possibility of student making the same mistake if it has a non-anonymous feature, which social norms are being established. For example, one hardly seen people post armed threatening post on Facebook because they can be easily identified and face consequences from both peers and other parties. To understand Yik Yak from an extreme negative point of view, you are welcomed to read  http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/05/09/psychiatrist-view-yik-yak-is-most-dangerous-app-ive-ever-seen.html.

After discussing the bad side of Yik Yak, let’s talk about what’s good about it. Despite of all these claims criticizing Yik Yak, you have to give credit to Yik Yak’s team for geo-fencing high schools area to prevent the problem for getting bigger. As a social network, they could have been unethically allowing high schools students to use their app in order to grow active users base. However, they refuse to do so as it violates their mission and values. By doing this, it’s enough to show that the reason they create this anonymous feature is to allow users to spread positivity and opinions in a fun way. Yik Yak’s effort is definitely paying off as multiple researches identified Yik Yak is mostly used in a positive way to explore racial, ethnic and sexual identities and to build a sense of community on campus. To list out one of the good deeds, in 2015, Yik Yak has prevented a suicide attempt at College of William and Mary. Its anonymity platforms allow users to express its deepest thoughts, thus, allowing other users to empathize and provide supports to cure temporary depression.

Yik Yak has been surrounded by controversy every since it launched. However, in the recent months, this controversy has seemed to turn smaller. In my opinion, everything received criticism when it was popular, and its the same for Yik Yak. With Yik Yak’s hyped is dying down, I think it explained why controversy is becoming smaller too .To understand more about Yik Yak relationship with Gartner Hype Cycle, do not hesitate to visit my blog, https://damonwongblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/54/.

After reading some positive and negative cases, what’s your thoughts on Yik Yak’s controversy?

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(Marlyn Group, 2016)

Image source:

Marlyn Group,. (2016). Are Cashier Shortages a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?. Retrieved from http://marlyngroupllc.com/2014/07/15/are-cashier-shortages-a-good-thing-or-a-bad-thing/

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