Students ‘yak’ about controversial social media app

Samantha Longton

Staff Writer

Heshan Ahmed, architecture student, met up with people through Yik Yak at Hudson Valley.

“I think it’s a way for people to express themselves without knowing its them,” said Ahmed.

Social media application Yik Yak has made its way to Hudson Valley campus by connecting students, acting as a platform for people in the area to post their own thoughts and ideas anonymously.

“Personally, I think it would be convenient because not everyone wants to put themselves out in the open so that people know what they’re about or who they are,” said Tyi Nicholson, digital media student. “If you see somebody that you like in the library you don’t want them to know that you’re the one that posted about them because it makes it awkward.”

According to the application’s main site, Yik Yak can help people get in touch with those around them. Students that check the Hudson Valley Yik Yak can find out things that are happening on campus, share their thoughts anonymously, and even meet up with new people.

Once a Yak is posted, it can be voted up or down by the people who have viewed it. When a Yak is down voted five times, it is automatically deleted from the app and no longer accessible to other viewers. Getting up votes and posting on Yak can give users “yakarma” which, according to the website, is a rewards system for people who interact with the app.

“I feel like a lot of people make it inappropriate,” said freshman football player Brett Clarke.

“People just post stupid stuff on there,” said Joesph Dinapoli, another football player. “On a college level, you wouldn’t really get anything meaningful out of [posting on Yik Yak]”

The restrictions of posting on the application are minimal, but Yik Yak’s website reminds users that the users are responsible for what they submit. They also note that they do not promote harassment, racially or ethnically offensive language, abuse, or threats that are posted anonymously. If someone were to be reported for any of the listed violations, Yik Yak can take down their account and restrict their use to avoid fighting.

Some students at Hudson Valley claim that they use the app just so they can read what others students in the area post. “[Yik Yak] is really inappropriate, people these days can find hook-ups and friends with benefits on it and it’s just gross,” said Basmah Ali, liberal arts student.

“I think the anonymous posting is a little dangerous. As far as someone saying something like, ‘Oh that girl is hot,’ you shouldn’t be saying that, and I feel like people are more likely to say things like that when they aren’t going to be held accountable because they’re anonymous,” said individual studies student Laura Pierson.

Despite believing that only a small percentage of students are engaged in Yik Yak, Dennis Kennedy, director of communications and marketing, urges students to monitor what they are posting and be careful about what they put on social media.

“We encourage students to address concerns through official channels if they have them, but we do respect their ability to communicate through platforms that are not college sponsored,” he said.

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