Just how wack is the Yik Yak app?

Lucas Proper, Contributing Columnist

This application for iPhone and Android users, released on February 20, 2014, is now sweeping across campus and becoming a part of almost every student’s life. Yik Yak is designed for users to be able to post Twitter-like posts anonymously. Users are also able to vote on a yak by giving an upvote or a downvote, being able to reply to a yak aw well. With the anonymous factor, it is no wonder as to why this has become very popular not only at Allegheny, but at many colleges across the nation. However, besides all of the obvious abilities of this app, it does seem to have the ability to create negativity.

Even though people post anonymously, it is quite easy to direct some yaks towards others knowingly. This would be a form of bullying and Yik Yak does not condone it, which is why they will suspend users if their yaks are continuing to be downvoted. Also, in their rules they state in reference to their users,

“1. You do not bully or specifically target other yakkers. 2. You DO NOT bully or specifically target other yakkers.”

Adding much emphasis on this rule by capitalizing and repeating it for a second time.

Yik Yak, LLC encourages their yakkers to downvote and  flag the yaks that display this type of behavior. Regardless though, bullying through Yik Yak is a possibility.

“I’ve heard rumors about cyber bullying on Yik Yak this past week,” Jonathan Alcantara, ‘18.

My friends immediately report the posts and they are then taken down immediately.

Yik Yak, LLC also asks that their users don’t clutter the feeds with  “useless or offensive yaks.” Which, from my experience, happens quite often. When I open Yik Yak, I see plenty of funny, sarcastic and creative yaks. This aspect is great and enjoyed by many students, such as Josh Patton, ’18.

“I personally find Yik Yak hilarious as I can appreciate the scathing and bitter sarcasm that is usually posted,” said Patton.

However, scathing posts can become a problem. That problem would be the fact that people become ignorant and they don’t think about the negativity surrounding their posts. From my experiences using Yik Yak, I have seen posts about getting drunk, having sex, disgustingly flirting, talking about men and women in a demeaning light and basically using vulgarity as humor. This is why those, on the outside looking in, can begin to see our college in a poor light.

“It makes us seem like a huge party school,” Lizzy Mann, ’18.

People in the Meadville area who have Yik Yak are able to see the posts that our college makes. This will not leave a good impression at all.

“It would portray our school in a negative light,” Patton said.

On the other hand though, there are many things here that involve the Meadville community, many things keep students on their feet with clubs and many things where our students are doing good for one another. Sure, we have parties, but there are so many other colleges that party too.

“I think it just portrays that we’re a normal student body: our Yik Yak isn’t unique,” said Liliana Carbone, ’18.

Users on Yik Yak have the ability to view other popular college Yaks, and after viewing them, they are not much different than our own. If Yik Yak portrays anything, it should be that the students are “ungrateful” because of all of the complaining done.  But the complaining shouldn’t matter that much because it is the kind of lazy, teenager-complaining that happens all of the time.

All in all, Yik Yak is a great app. I know what you are thinking: how can he say that after talking about this bad stuff? I think the funny, sarcastic, and entertainment-based side of Yik Yak outweighs the demeaning side. The point of this article is to bring to light that bullying, the act of demeaning people and falsely portraying Allegheny is possible.

In the end, I encourage users to think before yaking.