Some of the students and faculty of Andover High School were interviewed Thursday, September 11 about their views on Yik Yak.
Yik Yak is a new social media app that became popular at AHS last spring. It is an app in which users can anonymously post anything they want. The user’s post will be sent out to anyone who has the app within a five-mile radius of the place it was posted.
When students and faculty were interviewed, they were read the “Rules and Info” section of the app, which states:
“Yik Yak creates communities which allow anyone to connect & share information with others without having to know them. Post your jokes, thoughts, observations, questions, etc. just make sure that you’re posting quality content. Herds of yaks are strongest when they work together and watch each other’s backs. Yaks should not join a herd until old enough, so no one under college age should be on Yik Yak.”
The interviewee’s were then asked, “Do you think that the users of Yik Yak are living up to the expectations that the app creators outlined in the ‘Rules and Info’ section of the app, or do you think that it is being abused?” The following are their responses.
Jill Powers, Freshman
“You see people making fun of each other [on the app,] but then you see people just saying harmless jokes that aren’t toward anyone.”
Kat Hodge, Sophomore
“I think its being used for bullying; it’s a way to protect yourself and say bad things about people.”
Ms. Adams, Mathematics Department
“There are definitely users that are in high school on it, so that is not what it was intended for because there’s no limitation on a high school student logging onto Yik Yak or not. And I feel that some of the high school students that are on [the app] are using it to cyber bully people.”
Kyle Perry, Junior
“I think Yik Yak is very abused, because [as] you said it’s supposed to be used for sharing observations and thoughts and jokes and stuff and nobody under college should be [on] it…Well I’ve seen a bunch of, like, freshmen and sophomores and even some middle school students who just use Yik Yak to talk a lot of trash about people. It’s a negative app I think.”
Mr. Rodriguez, World Language Department
“I heard from my students that it is a bullying app and that students post not so nice things. It is being abused when people are being mean.”
Connor Merinder, Senior
“This app is being abused. The intended use was for college students and an intended area because people didn’t know each other. Since it is in the high school, it is being abused. I know someone who was crying after someone posted about her.”
Officer Dowd, Andover Police Department
“From what I understand, I mean I haven’t had a lot of exposure to Yik Yak yet, but from other officers and other departments that I have talked to, Yik Yak is being abused more than it’s being a meeting place for people…I think the standards that they put out like ‘make sure it’s quality content’ and ‘make sure you’re old enough’ – none of that is being followed. From what I understand, like from other officers from other departments, [Yik Yak] is one of the biggest- from Snapchat to this- cyber bullying apps that’s starting to emerge.”
Reporting by Dillon Clancy, Sean Kucharski, and Xonatia Lee