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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: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:15PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:15PM (#155741)

    I bet that an academic modded down the parent comment, which ended up being an act of censorship that actually served to prove the parent right! Academics do hate free expression!

    Starting Score:    0  points
    Moderation   -1  
       Troll=1, Total=1
    Extra 'Troll' Modifier   0  

    Total Score:   -1  
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:31PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:31PM (#155756)

    modded down the parent comment, which ended up being an act of censorship

    Your incessant use of "proof by repeated assertion" will never result in moderation actually being censorship. The community is self-correcting so legitimately bad moderations will be corrected by the community over the course of a couple hours at most, but not agreeing with the moderation does not mean the moderation was bad, and downmoderation will never be censorship no matter how many times you try to say it is.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:36PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:36PM (#155761)

      Moderation is in fact an act of censorship.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:44PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:44PM (#155771)

        Censorship is in fact an act of moderation.

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:56PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:56PM (#155783)

          Moderation and censorship are one and the same.

          Censorship and moderation are one and the same.

          • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Wednesday March 11 2015, @12:01PM

            by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 11 2015, @12:01PM (#156007) Journal

            Not content to argue endlessly by repeating the same statements over and over as you did on Sunday, you now think that it is a valid and constructive form of discourse in this story. Why don't you join us on #Soylent and discuss with us your problems and how you feel we should address them?

            But, for the record, censorship would involve people being unable to see your comments, whereas moderation places a value of worth upon them. However, whatever their worth, all comments can be seen my all community members if they wish so to do. Now, would you like to argue constructively and intelligently why you feel that is not so?

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      • (Score: 2) by M. Baranczak on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:46PM

        by M. Baranczak (1673) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:46PM (#155773)

        As your man Goldwater liked to say: "moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue".

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:54PM

        by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:54PM (#155782) Journal

        No, moderation is a meta-comment. Refusing to allow people to meta-comment is as bad as limiting their right to comment.

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:58PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 10 2015, @10:58PM (#155785)

          Moderation is not a form of expression.

          Moderation is a socially harmful activity similar to molestation and murder.

          • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Tuesday March 10 2015, @11:54PM

            by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday March 10 2015, @11:54PM (#155810) Journal

            obviously, you are funning with us.

            • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday March 11 2015, @12:24AM

              by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 11 2015, @12:24AM (#155833) Journal
              Only with the ones that were tricked in feeding the troll (myself included. While mistakes are a perfect ground for learning, repeating the same mistakes is not).
              --
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              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 11 2015, @02:16AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 11 2015, @02:16AM (#155873)

                Even though he's an obvious troll, I feel compelled to not let his proof by repeated assertion gain any ground. As Faux News has proven, if you repeat the same garbage over and over again people will eventually accept it as fact. Better to not even allow it the chance to gain ground by challenging it every time that garbage presents itself.

                • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 11 2015, @03:12AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 11 2015, @03:12AM (#155900)

                  As we've ascertained, moderation is a form of censorship.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 11 2015, @04:57AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 11 2015, @04:57AM (#155925)

                  > I feel compelled to not let his proof by repeated assertion gain any ground.

                  The guy seems to show up for a a week or two and then disappear for a few months, perhaps his medication runs out.
                  I think it is interesting that michael crawford has also entered a period of manic posting. I don't remember if their cycles synced up last time though.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 11 2015, @09:16AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 11 2015, @09:16AM (#155962)

                    Lunatics : Moon. Tides, Werewolves, Bill O'Reilly. Correlation does not equal causation, but something is definitely going on!

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 11 2015, @09:12AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 11 2015, @09:12AM (#155960)

              obviously, you are funning with us.

              Yes, but sadly it will not at all be apparent to the poor bastards that keep getting modded down in liberal, academic, Social Justice Warrior (I wonder, does that have uniform or an Ironman suit to go with it?) acts of censorship and oppression trying to keep them from expressing their deep and tender feeling about black teenage "thugs" and the right to keep and arm bears, and Biblical basis for child rape.

              The Goldwater was particularly good. Can I try?

              "Liberty, in the pursuit of Rand Paul, is a vice!" Barry, however, came around in his later years.

      • (Score: 2) by wantkitteh on Wednesday March 11 2015, @03:01PM

        by wantkitteh (3362) on Wednesday March 11 2015, @03:01PM (#156085) Homepage Journal

        Incorrect - despite your post being modded to the lowest possible score with the worst possible label, I can still read it. Just because you say something doesn't mean it's worth listening to and moderation enables the community as a whole to make that judgement call for itself/each other. You don't like it? Comment somewhere else without moderators.

    • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Wednesday March 11 2015, @06:10AM

      by aristarchus (2645) on Wednesday March 11 2015, @06:10AM (#155934) Journal

      The point here is that gibberish is not speech! It is apparent that some posters have nothing to say, so modding them into oblivion infringes on no one's rights. You see, to have a right to free speech, you must be capable of actual speech. Academics are experts in language, it is what they do. So they can recognize someone blathering talking points or racist opinions that they do not even understand, more quickly than the rest of us. This is not speech. I mean, it is not like Sheriff Joe, or Cliven Bundy, or Bill O'Reilly actually have anything to say, so we can point, and giggle, but that is just cruel. It is better to just keep them out of the public sphere so they do not embarrass themselves. Censorship? Or Mercy? Take your pick! But your pick will definitely tell! So choose wisely.

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