Yakking it Up


(Photo by Dane Goodwin)

(Photo by Dane Goodwin)
(Photo by Dane Goodwin)

There’s a new app flooding onto students’ cellphones at the U.
The app, called Yik Yak, has no login, no profiles and no passwords. People post anonymous observations about the world around them, which the app then groups with others within a 1.5-mile radius, with a specific group for the U.
Yajanetsy Ruano a junior in sociology, said the app is “a great way to express yourself.”
Yik Yak targets college students, with a rule on the app stating “Yaks should not join the herd until they are mature enough, so no one under college age should be on Yik Yak.”
With the app, a user can tap into different areas and see the yaks coming from other schools nearby. Erin McCarthy, a senior in parks, recreation and tourism said she likes reading BYU students’ “funny” observations.
“But you can’t use Yik Yak as your only way of understanding the culture of that campus,” she said.
Marissa Gibson, a junior in anthropology, said the app doesn’t seem dangerous because of the anonymity.
“It shouldn’t be taken seriously unless the person is reading into it too much,” Gibson said. “It’s hilarious. I love it.”
The app does not censure its users — there is no regulation on what people can say. The only way a yak that is considered harmful can be taken off of the board is if other yakkers “down vote” it five times or if it is offensive enough for one yakker to flag the comment.
Samantha Kimball, a freshman in international studies and education, said there’s a balance to using Yik Yak.
“People should be allowed to say what they want, but people need to be governing themselves and be understanding towards others,” she said.
Tram Vo, a junior in nursing, said students use the app to “talk badly” and “it’s not fair.”
Abigail Hansen, a freshman in elementary education, said students use the app to relieve stress, but there should be more boundaries.
When a user downloads the Yik Yak app, a set of rules appears. The first rules read: “You do not bully or specifically target other yakkers.” The app states that in addition to the no bullying rule, users are to “post your jokes, thoughts, observations and questions, just make sure that you’re posting quality content.”
[email protected]