Cyber-Bullying and Yik Yak App
LEARN about – Bullying Stops when Respect Begins. Is your School/Business Prepared?
Yik Yak App has become the ultimate electronic tool for cyber-bullies, those wanting negative attention and to others – a way to terrorize their school/organization.
This app will allow an anonymous person to target others (students, faculty, co-workers, organizations) with hate speech, without any consequences whatsoever. It amplifies the phenomena seen in cyber-bullying where the person; feels invisible, feels the group pressure, feels like there will not be consequence for their actions and it can – seemingly – remove all pretense of being a person with empathy, genuineness and connection to others.
The Yik Yak app is like an electronic local bulletin board (a more accurate description is – the bathroom wall brought to the public) for your area by showing the most recent posts from other users within 1.5 miles of you, at any time. It’s location-aware, accessible to users only within a 1.5 mile radius from their physical location. It allows anyone, within a 1.5 mile radius, to share whatever they want with everyone, with the feeling of no consequences. The Yik Yak app is one of a flurry of hot apps; like Secret, Whisper and Instagram, that allow users to speak their minds without revealing their identities; and, sometimes, to even insult, shame, and threaten individuals, schools and organizations.
Yik Yak is causing a lot of controversy, not just for its slurs, rude comments and off color jokes but for the intense cyber-bullying, cyber-staking, death threats, school-wide bomb threats and school/business-wide mass shooting threats.
Here are a few:
- Sarasota County Schools – Yik Yak’s popularity among students at Riverview High, Pine View School, and Sarasota High has caused the school district to take action, after a number of student complaints of cyber-bullying which was happening on school grounds.
- A Marblehead High School student used Yik Yak to send a bomb threat to the school. The police worked with Yik Yak to identify the juvenile and charged him with a bomb threat. Although, a second threat was received the same day.
- A private high school in Massachusetts received an bombardment of ugly rumors and hateful statements toward students and faculty for a period of one day. School officials have pleaded with the students to stop using their smartphones to destroy the self-esteem of others.
- A public high school in Massachusetts was evacuated twice after anonymous threats were made using Yik Yak.
- Two situations of shooting threats, one in Alabama and one in California show how authorities might view the severity of criminally offensive posts – to – posts by someone who calls someone else stupid or fat.
- Schools in Chicago, Massachusetts, Florida, Connecticut, California and others have reported serious disruptions, to include shooting threats and bombing threats.
- This is happening at businesses too; where employees were posting appalling mixes of bullying, racism, sexism, profanity and drug references for all to see.
So, what can be done?
- Some of contacted the developers of the app and they have erected “geo-fencing” using GPS coordinates (the longitude and latitude of a school) to disable the app on their campuses. Although, there are other apps up and coming with this same technology.
- Notify parents, staff and employers of this type of program. They need to observe, watch, monitor, and listen to those using it.
- Change their environment – by developing Respectful and Caring schools and business.
- Teach Cyber-Bullying programs which emphasizes respect, digital literacy, responsibility (to speak-up and to not go along with the crowd) and the devastation this can cause to their school’s community and/or business’ community.
- Learn more about FREE Downloads on Cyberbullying by filling out form: click here and go to bottom of page
- Keys’ FREE “Knowledge Base Center” – Managing Bullying pdf downloads
- See Books & Material on Bullying
- See Anti-Bullying/Cyber-Bullying Training
- Learn more about our Subject Matter Experts