Guest Post by: Bianca Baltazar, a bit beyond bold blogger.
What happened to the idea of respect?
Let me begin by saying I have no desire to use Yik Yak nor have I ever. The only time I’ve ever heard about the app is in multiple classrooms where I have heard nothing positive about it. I do not use Yik Yak because I believe it is just a platform for individuals to post absurd comments without any consequences. Sure, maybe some people do not have the confidence to say their thoughts so Yik Yak gives them a place to do so. However, with all the negativity the surrounds the app, it is clear that being anonymous does not just give people confidence. It gives them a sense of entitlement in the most backwards way possible. Users feel entitled to state their opinion whether or not it affects an individual or a group of individuals. The sad thing, some of the posts can be so hurtful that those who are at the receiving end are overcome with a horrible feeling and there is nothing they can do about it. They feel helpless. It could be their “best friend” typing these horrible words about them but the person will never know. Targeting an individual is one thing but what happens when Yik Yak is used to reinforce stereotypes or further the discrimination against a specific group of people due to their race, gender, or sexual orientation? Nothing happens. That is the point. Those who post distasteful and degrading messages do not have to worry about anything because no one will ever find out who they are…or will they?
This leads me to the idea of privacy. Yik Yak is an app that was founded on the idea of anonymity. On Yik Yak’s website it states, “Share your thoughts with people around you while keeping your privacy.” Also, Yik Yak has said that they will do whatever it takes to ensure that their users stay anonymous. However, in Yik Yak’s Privacy Statement it states that there app requires a telephone number, geo-location data, domains, IP addresses, and that they save ALL the content users shares on the app including images. With that being said, Yik Yak is able to quickly pinpoint an individual who posts an immediate physical threat to others, which goes to show that users are not fully anonymous. It pains me that it takes an immediate physical threat for Yik Yak to intervene. It pains me that Yik Yak even exists.
NEWS FLASH: The invisibility cloak isn’t actually real.