CON: Yik Yak facilitates negativity on campus

Hannah Orr, Staff Reporter

The following is an opinion article, and opinion articles do not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

As Yik Yak becomes increasingly popular on college campuses, the opportunity for it to cause harm to the students increases. Yik Yak is a smartphone application that allows users in a certain geographic area to share 200-character posts anonymously, serving as a sort of bulletin board for colleges. Other users can up-vote or down-vote the posts, and if a post receives five down-votes, it will be removed from the feed. 

Some colleges have taken steps to ban Yik Yak from their campuses because of recent misuse of the social app. Yik Yak has been used as a tool to issue threats across the country. Bomb threats were issued at a California high school and at the University of Georgia, and a mass shooting threat was recently reported at Pennsylvania State University.

Yik Yak has also been an outlet for cyberbullying. Even on Tulane’s Yik Yak, anonymous users write negative or insulting posts using specific students’ names. While these posts are usually down-voted off the feed, there is no knowing how many people see them before they disappear. 

Greek life at Tulane has also been targeted on Yik Yak. A large volume of posts accuse fraternities of drugging their vat during parties or attack specific sororities because of their looks and members’ sexual activities. This creates unease and causes a rift in our school. There is no source behind these opinions, and students should not try to make someone ashamed of how they look or what organizations they are involved in at Tulane. 

Right now, there have been no cases of extreme misuse of the app on Tulane’s campus, but it facilitates negativity within the community. If use of the app becomes increasingly detrimental to campus, the university would be justified in banning the app from student use.

While Yik Yak can have its benefits, such as helping students bond over shared experiences, more regulation of the app is needed. The site, with its easy system of down-voting and up-voting, also makes it easier for students to judge one another anonymously. Often, posts judging others receive a large amount of up-votes, which could have a negative influence on the community. While these negative posts are not the only ones that are popular, they leave a stronger effect when evaluating what Tulane students value.

Hannah Orr is a freshman in the Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached for comment at [email protected]

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