New Social Media App Makes Cyber Bullying Easier, More Accessible For Students

YikYak is a new app that allows people to post anonymous comments

YikYak is a new app that allows people to post anonymous comments

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Cyber bullying is already a huge problem in today’s society. According to The Harford County Examiner, more than one in three young people have received cyber threats online.Teens hide behind keyboards as they use different social media sites to hurl insulting comments and tweets. Teen’s may be more willing to insult each other if they can do it over the internet, rather than face to face, but in the end it’s still easy to see who’s dishing out the hate by simply clicking on their profile. All of this could change with a new app that has entered the game.

The new app is called YikYak and it is already blocked from all public schools due to an overwhelming amount of cyber bullying. At a glance, the app looks a lot like Twitter.  Users scroll through short little posts from lots of different people. However, unlike Twitter, YikYak is completely anonymous and it’s impossible to tell who is posting what. Users can “upvote” (like) or “downvote” (dislike) every post, and posts with the highest number of upvotes appear on the “hot list”, while those that are downvoted five times are removed. The app is completely location-based, so users can only see posts from their location.

While the app may be filled with the same recycled jokes and comments you have seen a million times before on Twitter, there are also some that are hurtful. One recent post on the “hot list” read, “Is that a hobo or a BCC kid” while another read, “The Whitman parking lot looks like a Mercedes dealership.”

To see the cyber bullying capabilities of the app in action, I wrote a controversial post with a random name and waited to see what the reaction would be. It took 11 seconds for the first response to appear. Every few seconds another post would come in, bashing the random person, despite not knowing the individual. The posts continued to come in at this same rapid pace for another 10 minutes until all the posts were removed about an hour later. This app only proves how willing people are to tear each other apart when they don’t have to answer for their actions.

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