Yik Yak Worries - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Yik Yak Worries

Yik Yak...it's a social media site that sounds innocent. 

Originally, when the app first appeared for download in late 2013, Yik Yak was designed as a place for college students to post jokes and funny observations about campus life anonymously. 

Some of the posts on Yik Yak could be considered harmless. but the site has become a hotbed for cyber-bullying, prompting some school districts to ban the app.

Yik Yak has become very popular on college campuses across the country, including here at Midwestern State University.

"I feel like it's a way for people to make up rumors or throw other people under the bus or start stuff that's not necessarily true or doesn't need to be out in the public," said MSU junior Clayton Brown. "So honestly, I think its a bad thing, but I don't know what you can do about it."

Brown also says that he doesn't feel the app is good for the community, and feels like it's a cheap way for people to say what's on their mind and not suffer any consequences. 

On some college campuses, like the University of Georgia, the app has been employed to threaten students and teachers on college campuses. 

Yik Yak does not claim any responsibility for user generated content, and says that the anonymity of the users is protected under the first amendment. 

Technically, Yik Yak requires users to be 17 years of age or older to utilize the app. But, parents need to take an extra step by restricting those apps that are labeled 17+.  Phones with iOS, go to "Settings," select "General" and hit "Enable Restrictions." You can set restrictions for "Installing Apps" and "In-app Purchases. 

Yik Yak says that if a parent or administrator sees the app being used in a harmful way, they can visit the Yik Yak website and request that the school be geo-fenced, which would prevent use of the app near that particular area.

We reached out to Wichita Falls ISD officials, and they told us no administrators had heard of the Yik Yak app.

Dave Caulfield, Newschannel 6

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