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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday March 10 2015, @09:32PM   Printer-friendly
from the why-we-can't-have-nice-things dept.

Jonathon Mahler writes in the NYT that in much the same way that Facebook swept through the dorm rooms of America’s college students a decade ago, the social app Yik Yak, which shows anonymous messages from users within a 1.5-mile radius is now taking college campuses by storm. "Think of it as a virtual community bulletin board — or maybe a virtual bathroom wall at the student union," writes Mahler. "It has become the go-to social feed for college students across the country to commiserate about finals, to find a party or to crack a joke about a rival school." And while much of the chatter is harmless, some of it is not. “Yik Yak is the Wild West of anonymous social apps,” says Danielle Keats Citron. “It is being increasingly used by young people in a really intimidating and destructive way.” Since the app’s introduction a little more than a year ago, Yik Yak has been used to issue threats of mass violence on more than a dozen college campuses, including the University of North Carolina, Michigan State University and Penn State. Racist, homophobic and misogynist “yaks” have generated controversy at many more, among them Clemson, Emory, Colgate and the University of Texas. At Kenyon College, a “yakker” proposed a gang rape at the school’s women’s center.

Colleges are largely powerless to deal with the havoc Yik Yak is wreaking. The app’s privacy policy prevents schools from identifying users without a subpoena, court order or search warrant, or an emergency request from a law-enforcement official with a compelling claim of imminent harm. Esha Bhandari, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, argues that "banning Yik Yak on campuses might be unconstitutional," especially at public universities or private colleges in California where the so-called Leonard Law protects free speech. She said it would be like banning all bulletin boards in a school just because someone posted a racist comment on one of the boards. In one sense, the problem with Yik Yak is a familiar one. Anyone who has browsed the comments of an Internet post is familiar with the sorts of intolerant, impulsive rhetoric that the cover of anonymity tends to invite. But Yik Yak’s particular design can produce especially harmful consequences, its critics say. “It’s a problem with the Internet culture in general, but when you add this hyper-local dimension to it, it takes on a more disturbing dimension,” says Elias Aboujaoude.” “You don’t know where the aggression is coming from, but you know it’s very close to you.”

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  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday March 10 2015, @09:56PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 10 2015, @09:56PM (#155725)

    The whole story isn't needed. The Social Justice Warrior is always inherently wrong.

    LOL the comedy of it was I think it was a remedial math class (reading between the lines) and the SJW battle had nothing to do directly with the class or the class discussion initially, it was some student asking a lot of dumb questions in lecture.

    It started off as one of those things we've all suffered thru in uni where theres gotta be "that kid" who can't tell the difference between lecture hours and office hours pissing off the other 199 students in the lecture ... and like 50 posts later of slinging shit (and they were all pretty incompetent at it) it turned into a debate about male privilege and quotas and just SJW BS.

    Those kids were so dumb (on both sides) that they couldn't even have a good flamewar. What is this world coming to?

    I remember it well because it was only a few weeks ago and it was possibly the most interesting thing that ever happened on yik yak in my area. Which is why I ended up uninstalling it. Not even interesting enough to lurk.

    Of course about 50% of the remaining posts were "I'm so drunk" "I'm so high" "I'm so hung over" and a lot of "Ugh the cafeteria has baked chicken again" type of whining.

    I suspect the true reason school officials hate the app is a large fraction of the posts make it look like all the students do is get baked and complain about the food in the cafeteria. Which may very well be true, but the school officials don't want to broadcast it especially during campus tour weekends and stuff like that.

    The app had a lot of moronity and flamewars, which is sometimes OK, but not much entertaining moronity and flamewars.

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  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday March 10 2015, @09:59PM

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 10 2015, @09:59PM (#155730)

    sociology class

    remedial math class

    I am a little fuzzy on how the flamewar got started but it doesnt matter anyway.