I know many of you are wondering what Yik Yak is. I, myself, had never heard of it either until I was doing some research on social media vehicles and stumbled across the name. Yik Yak is definitely a site the world needs to become just as familiar with as Facebook or Twitter. Though all social media outlets were created as a way to network, connect, promote events and businesses, if put in the wrong hands, it can become a deadly weapon used to hurt and slander. Yik Yak has become infamous in recent news as a vehicle for racists to spew their hate and threats. Yik Yak allows the subscriber to be anonymous. But with Big Brother and the United States needing to beef up surveillance due to terrorists activity, no one is ever really anonymous…and thank God!
Keeping up with all the latest social media outlets, it can leave a person’s head spinning. When does anyone have the time to build and maintain their Facebook account, Twitter account, Instagram, Snap Chat, Pinterest, Periscope, and now Yik Yak? I am told that Yik Yak is for high school and college students. I recollect Facebook starting out as a vehicle for college students only as wells. While most of the world was on MySpace, Facebook slowly went global from the college campuses into corporate America and every household around the world. Though Yik Yak is getting a bad wrap for allowing violent behavior and racists to post threats onto minority students, I hope its intention to bring people together will eventually out shine the hate.
Students from Lewis & Clark College rallied together Wednesday morning to protest the threats against Black students. It posted earlier in USA Today that the Black Student Union organized the rally, but the publication made a correction. It was not Black students who started the protest against the hate on Yik Yak. Students of all cultural backgrounds attending the college came together to fight for justice. Wednesday morning the Yik Yak anonymous commenter wrote: “Black people think just cause their ancestors are slaves they deserve more…Well in that case, let’s give them something to whine about #Bringbackslavery,” and, “I just want to hang you ignorant black people.” The post is under investigation and the Portland police have been contacted by the college.
Two Caucasian males, 19, were arrested on the University of Missouri campus after making death threats to Black students on the campus via Yik Yak. Northwest Missouri State University student Connor Stottlemyer, also 19, posted onto Yik Yak: “I’m going to shoot any black people tomorrow, so be ready!” He was arrested in his dormitory. I am still trying to figure out how these young men thought they could make death threats across social media and not have the proper authorities come knock on their door to investigate the situation. The world is in a sensitive time right now with heinous mass murders of innocent lives happening in Kenya, Beirut, Paris, Libya, Syria, Chicago, and the list continues. Security is heightened and people are on edge wondering when the other shoe will drop and where will it drop.
Many might look at Yik Yak as a tool in the devil’s workshop. However, if it were not for Yik Yak, students living next door to racist killers such as Stottlemyer never would have known he felt the way he did about Black people. He would have remained under the radar, surprising everyone one morning in bloodshed. Yik Yak has saved lives. Keep up the good work.