I’ve realized that the barrel has no bottom. There will be no scraping the bottom, because there will always be another app or social platform to discuss which tops (or bottoms) the potential ugliness of the previous one.
Yik Yak is worse than Ask.fm. Yes, I said it – WORSE. And if you aren’t sure what Ask.fm is read two of my previous posts:
- Entire High School Football Team Gets Suspended Because of Cyberbullying on Ask.fm
- An Open Letter to Teens Who Use Ask.fm; Read, Post, & Share
Why Yik Yak is Worse than Ask.fm
As we’ve seen before, Ask.fm’s marketed anonymity makes it easy for anyone to ask YOU on YOUR profile questions. They can be nasty and mean but they’re asking YOU.
- A user creates a profile (most kids use their real names and location – which is dumb, obviously)
For this example we’ll call her Sally Smith from Topeka Kansas
- Another user can ask the first user any question at all anonymously
Another user we’ll call Jenny Jones from Topeka Kansas
- Jenny goes onto Sally’s Ask.Fm page and posts a question – questions like the following are extremely common on Ask.fm
* Why are you such a whore?
* Why don’t you kill yourself?
* Do your parents hate you as much as everyone else?
- Sally does not know who is posting the question
Now let’s apply the same scenario above to Yik Yak
- A user downloads the app
Which by the way is meant for 17+ college students, and the app maker warns about inappropriate content
- The app grabs the user’s location via GPS
- The user posts a comment openly to whomever is listening about whatever
**Do any of you know Sally Smith? She is such a whore
**I’m pretty sure my English teacher – Mr. Taylor- is gay
- The post arrives in the feed of anyone physically near the user posting. So you will see the posts from everyone within x radius of you. Think: community wide
- A map accompanies every single post showing exactly where you physically were when you posted
Here is an actual example from my current Yik Yak screen
Note the second post which reads “Gotta feeling this is going to get out of control”.
When we click on that particular post we get a map – apparently whomever posted that comment was inside Vestavia Hills High School at the time
By zooming in slightly we will know exactly the spot where the user was standing inside of the building when that post was uploaded to Yik Yak
Biggest Concerns with Yik Yak
Anonymity: This is the same issue with Ask.fm. Anonymity makes bullies feel brave. We can expect to hear a lot more about this app in conjunction with cyberbullying issues.
Posting: It is feasible and reasonable to assume that it won’t be long before the feed becomes my generation’s equivalent of the bathroom wall. “For a good time call….”
Location: This app not only serves up the feed of the posts closest to you (location issue #1), but it then reveals the location of the user posting (location issue #2).
What happens now?
This app is not meant for children. The app makers make that plain in their Android and IOS marketplace descriptions.
According to their marketing language:
– The ultimate way to share your thoughts and recommendations, anonymously.
– Share your own Yaks and see what other people are saying.
– No login, no password, no traces; simply anonymous.
– Upvote and downvote Yaks, see what makes it to the ‘Hot’ page!
– Perfect for college/university students to stay social!
Obviously your child should have not have this app on his/her phone.
The only thing we can continue to do is to parent our children. Watch this video for a review on the basics.