Tri-Cities parents showing concern over Yik Yak app, citing cyberbullying and inappropriate comments

TRI-CITIES, WA – Yik Yak, an iPhone app, is reportedly being used to bully students in the Tri-Cities.

Yik Yak is a social networking app that allows people within a five-mile radius to anonymously message each other through comments and posts.

Tri-Cities parents discussed their concern for Yik Yak on the Next Door website; one mother saying, “It is by far the most troublesome and potentially harmful app that I’ve ever heard of.”

When logging in to Yik Yak to see what everyone within a five-mile radius is posting, many of the comments were sexual in nature discussing topics like certain girls appearances, boys at Southridge High School, personal health information of certain students, and comments on people’s race.

Many of the people posted about others naming them by name or high school.

However, this is not the first time. In 2014, schools in Massachusetts and California actually evacuated or went under lockdown because of bomb threats made on Yik Yak.

Other universities have found that Yik Yak was used for targeted racist attacks against black students.

A student from Virginia Tech also plead guilty to using the app to threaten a campus shooting modeled after one in 2007 that killed 32 people.

In 2017, students from the University of Mary Washington in Virginia filed a federal complaint saying they were being sexually harassed and threatened with sexual violence on the app.

Yik Yak does have settings where you can report inappropriate or dangerous comments. You can report users and block them for lewd comments. Users can also upvote or downvote comments based on likes or dislikes. On Yik Yak’s community guidelines, it states, “Yik Yak is where communities are free to be authentic, equal, and empowered to connect with people nearby.” It proceeds to name do’s and don’t of what is and is not allowed on the app.

The app also a page dedicated to rules to keep the app safe, as well as mental health resources.

Yik Yak did not respond to comment on these claims.

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