Yik Yak

There is a new cell phone application that is gaining notoriety at the speed of light among some groups of teens (as well as their teachers and parents). In essence, Yik Yak is pretty much a location-based anonymous Twitter feed. The free app allows users to post anonymous comments that can be viewed by anyone who is within 5 miles of the person who posted it. Or at least the 500 who are the closest. When installing the app, the user gets a warning message stating that the app contains mature material and is therefore only appropriate for users 17 and older. But that hasn’t stopped high school students in some cities from signing up in droves. One can easily see the attraction for students in using this app: they can post nameless comments that others in their immediate vicinity can see. As such, it is perfectly tailored for a (read more…)

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3 thoughts on “Yik Yak

  1. How Yik Yak is different from other social media - NetFamilyNews.org | NetFamilyNews.org

    […] Prof. Justin Patchin at the Cyberbullying Research Center on Yik Yak […]

  2. What We’re Reading: YikYak App Headlines, Talk Online Safety Before Birds & Bees, Kids Do Good Online, Tech Trumps Toys | Internet Safety for Kids & Families

    […] comments to an audience that’s physically close by (like your college campus).  Here’s a great overview from the Cyberbullying Research Center with some advice on how to handle any bullying that might be […]

  3. Dr. J

    I think you are letting the creators of Yik Yak and similar apps off too easily. Yes, “parents and educators should work to instill good values in their
    children and students so that they choose not to use them in ways that
    cause harm” but a multifaceted approach, crucial here, must include holding app developers and social network site owners accountable, too. The creators “are being responsive to the concerns of adults”?? Seriously? If that was their mindset, why would they create and market it in the first place in a way that allows easy override of any age limit?