Yik Yak is a location-based mobile app that allows users to anonymously post comments to a “wall”. The functionality is similar to Twitter, but all users and posts are linked to their location, as gleaned from the GPS systems of the users’ phones.
If students at a given school begin using Yik Yak, that school’s “wall” wall can quickly become the school’s anonymous message board. Because users can upvote (or downvote) posts, and posts can be sorted based on popularity, cyberbullying and other outlandish posts can become popular and spread quickly. There have been numerous reports of cyberbullying incidents at schools.
Yik Yak claims to prohibit content that is pornographic, obscene, offensive, threatening, harassing, libelous, hate-oriented, harmful, defamatory, racist, illegal but they caution that they do not monitor content.
Users who are subject to cyberbullying or other offensive content can select the “Report” function in the app.
Yik Yak users must be at least 17 years of age, but there is no guarantee that younger users who misrepresent their age will be caught.