Sunday, January 17, 2021

Plattsburgh State students ‘Ride the Yak’

Horrendously offensive? Or ridiculously entertaining? Whether you despise it or completely love it, the new app ‘Yik Yak’ has students on the Plattsburgh State campus buzzing.

Since bursting onto the scene in November of 2013, this social networking app has recently found a spot in students’ hearts and phones next to Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

According to Business Insider, two fraternity brothers, Brooks Buffington and Tyler Droll, created Yik Yak in 2013. After graduating, the duo started playing with a few ideas for creating a start-up but hit the jackpot when Droll came up with the million dollar idea of Yik Yak.

The whole idea was to provide “a hyper-local place to rant about anything anonymously with people in your community.” Much like Twitter, Yik Yak is text-only and restricted to a certain number of characters. However, unlike any other social network, yakking is completely anonymous and content can only be viewed within a limited radius based on where it was posted.

Being specific to location, the app has essentially created a campus-wide gossip app, or the modern-day burn book. With that being said, Yik Yak doesn’t give you free range to terrorize and bully others.

Due to the users’ anonymity, many individuals believe they can say whatever they want with no consequence. There’s no doubt people take advantage of being able to hide behind their pho-nes and yak nasty comments. Many see it as a site to enable bullying and deem it a horrible form of social media.

PSUC student, Ryan Callahan, is one of those people who believe Yik Yak is disturbed.

“Yik Yak is so immature,” Callahan said. “If you’re that immature to say through a computer screen what you can’t say [face-to-face], you don’t need to say anything at all.”

Callahan has personally seen nothing but negative experiences with the app and negative effects on certain individuals.

Yik Yak creators openly discourage bullying. Easily viewable and directly on the app, the first and second rules clearly state, “You DO NOT bully or specifically target other yakkers.”

Creators provide the ability to ‘down-vote’ a yak that a user finds offensive or simply obnoxious. You can also report certain yaks that result in a suspension of the yakker from the app.

On the other hand, many find the app to be whimsical and entertaining. The creators had a specific purpose: to be able to share funny jokes and experiences, give shout outs to friends or complete strangers and even to spread news throughout campus.
PSUC student Katie Gessner enjoys the app. “I just love how it’s people within the community. It’s just so funny,” Gessner said.

Whether you can’t stand it, or can’t help but love it, yakking isn’t disappearing from college campuses anytime soon. We can take some advice from Yik Yak creators, and — relax and “Ride the Yak.”

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