Screenshot: Shoshana Wodinsky (Yik Yak)
Good news fellow millennials. Yik Yak, the anonymous messaging app that was once very popular among college students all over the country, is back. Roughly four years after the company's co-founders announced the app's shutdown, the company's Twitter account sprang back to life on Monday to announce the app was back for a new generation of Yakkers.
We have many questions about the relaunch, including why? Why reboot an app that was in decline since its 2017 shut-down? Why not hire the actor who played Kevin in The Office to announce the news? Why put him in a bucket hat????????? What?
These questions remain unanswered at the moment. The company did not provide any details in its announcement thread. It stated that, while the app is available only for iPhone users in America, it will soon be made available for other countries and devices.
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The Yik Yak platform can be used as an anonymous, open message board by anyone living within five miles of the user. I discovered pages and pages of Yakkers living in my New York City neighbourhood posting about, well, everything.
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This was the majority of the content that was on the app's main page in the mid-2010s. But as you might expect with an anonymous chatting app, it also saw its fair share of violent threats and hate speech , culminating in at least four students being arrested for threats that they made on the app. Obviously, those arrests demonstrated that the app was not, in fact, anonymous .
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Yik Yak appears to be better equipped to handle these issues this time. Yik Yak reminded its users that harassment was not acceptable on the platform in a lengthy list community guardrails that were posted on the company's website. The company said that bullies can feel lonely, depressed, or isolated. "Whether it's on Yik Yak or somewhere else, be an advocate of anyone being bullied. Reject hate!"