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Social Media News - Parents Warned About Social Media App Due To ‘Harmful’ Comments

Yik Yak - What's going on?

The social media world is once again to be thrown into scrutiny after some students in Chicago, US, have used Yik Yak inappropriately. Two Chicago based high schools are warning parents about the app, which has been described as a mix between Twitter and Snapchat. It is reported that some students are using the app to post hurtful comments anonymously.

social media news Yik Yak
Source: pvpost.com

According to the company’s terms and conditions users should be 17 years of age to join, but through various loopholes that can be exposed, children have been taking to the site to bully others online. Due to the nature of the app, people can scroll through a live feed of anonymous posts by people in their area, leaving the door open for people who want to cause harm without posting their name directly.

The app’s advertising campaign protrudes negative feelings as it says “no profiles, no passwords, it’s all anonymous”. Whilst this seems harmless at first glance, when thought about in detail, why would anyone want to post on a live feed anonymously if there was no desire to cause someone harm. The app doesn't promote business opportunities, so it wouldn't be for the benefit of a company to use the app. It is currently a playground for users to target an audience of social outcasts, and apps like this are making sure that being a social outcast is becoming ever more painful experience with abuse coming from all walks of life.

Although some students were signing the posts off with their names, most were remaining anonymous, and this is a growing issue in a growing niche of networks. Due to the amount of apps like this one, it is attractive for companies now to push the boundaries in terms of ethics. Children in particular will opt for the most radical app due to their thirst for challenging authority, but the responsibility lies at the door of adults who create apps such as this.

social media news Yik Yak

There is quite a clear attraction to this app for some, and this is the ability to connect with a large audience whilst staying anonymous. It is already easy enough for some to hide their identities or use pseudonyms in order to make someone feel as though they are interacting with someone else, but now the task of hiding one’s identity is a simple process.

As social media is such a massive part of daily life, there should be more safeguarding around the culture. Although the application market isn't exactly liberal in terms of acceptance standards, maybe there should be stricter controls when looking at apps from an ethical point of view. Companies like Apple could look at the potential damage that could be caused to people’s lives if an app were to be released to the public.

Granted, people can be abused on Facebook, and they can create a fake profile, but Yik Yak is putting it on a plate for children in particular to be abused in their social circle.

Hopefully, there will be more transparency if Yik Yak decide to make changes to their app, and in the future it will be nice to see companies having a regard for the people who may be hurt by needless functions.

Alex is an English Literature and Sociology undergraduate whose love for written word has led him to write about some obscure topics in his time. Currently a content writer at Social Media Frontiers, be sure to follow him @AlexSatSMF.

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Social Media News - Parents Warned About Social Media App Due To ‘Harmful’ Comments Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, March 27, 2014 Rating: 5
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