Kicking Back Against Yik Yak

Natalie Wetzel and Camille Phillips

About a month ago SVHS students took to the app Yik Yak, an anonymous app where people can make comments about anything. These comments are viewed on a feed that is shared with other creators in a five mile radius. This app was just relaunched after being banned in 2017 for aiding bullying and harassment.

Since its relaunch in 2021, the app has “added a requirement for users to register and has taken steps to stop some students from accessing the app while on high school and college campuses” says Observer.com. 

When students downloaded the app around a month ago, the comments that were posted consisted of comments about the school day, sporting events, or asking opinions about certain things. SVHS students soon strayed away from these tame comments, using this anonymous app as a place to not be held accountable for their actions.

Soon after downloading the app, SVHS students began to transition an app that was intended to be for fun into a platform for bullying and harassment. Seen in the app, both groups and individual students are called out. Common occurrences on the app include sexual harassment, homophobia, body shaming, and rumors.

Students have noticed that comments that are reported or certain “trigger” words like  drugs and swear words will be taken down by the app.

According to the Daily Nebraskan, in some cases “…users will be banned via our one-strike-and-you’re-out policy.” The Daily Nebraskan went on to quote Yik Yak’s policy saying that the categories of violation include “…using real names, using Yik Yak to solicit dangerous goods or services, bullying, threatening and breaking federal or local laws.”

Senior Maya Suazo does not have the app but from screenshots that she has seen, “I have seen slurs and specific names.”

Senior Keira Sheldon also believes that “this policy is not being upheld especially when it comes to using specific names.” She went on to say that “people report comments but haven’t seen Yik Yak take them down.”

Many students have since deleted the app because of its shift to being a non-beneficial, non-productive, and harmful platform.