Student Commentary: The Yak is Back

Dana Hernandez

The Yak is back. Yik Yak is a social media smartphone application. Community members can post an anonymous comment and anyone within a 10-mile radius. It is the “hyperlocal anonymous Twitter.”  Yik Yak was originally launched in 2013 and relaunched in 2021. It is the app known for “testing free speech,” and is said to be blamed for cyberbullying and hate speech. Consequently, the owners purchased the rights to redevelop and rebrand Yik Yak to reduce the amount of hatred spread on the app.

The owners released a statement on the company’s website on Monday. “We’re bringing Yik Yak back because we believe the global community deserves a place to be authentic, a place to be equal, and a place to connect with people nearby.”

There are now new guidelines in the company’s policy. One of them is that if users bully another person, use hate speech, make a threat or in any way seriously violate the company’s policy they could be immediately banned from Yik Yak. Yet, many parents have been concerned for their children’s exposure to anonymous comments from strangers in their community. They are afraid of the toxic community that Yik Yak is creating because it allows students to anonymously talk and spread rumors about other students.

Some students at Paducah Tilghman have shared their thoughts on the popular app:

“Yik Yak is honestly so stupid like honestly because people think they are so cool when they are just hiding behind a screen #weirdo.”

“I think it’s kind of funny, well until your name gets out there.”

“It’s childish because it creates false rumors about people.”

Whichever social media app you find yourself on, make sure you think before you post. If you would not want it said about yourself do not say it about others.