Post Classifieds

6,000 students dish out dirt on new Yik-Yak app

By Kaila Frisone
On April 22, 2014

Imagine a world where someone could say whatever he or she wants without anyone knowing who said it. Well, that world is here: Yik Yak created it in the smartphone realm.

Yik Yak is an app that allows users to post anonymously and view content posted by others in the user's geographic area. Recently, the app became popular among several Miami University students but received mixed reactions.

"Well, I think people can use it for the wrong reasons and yaks can be particularly cruel," super senior Joe Gieringer said. "But it can also be used as a forum for off brand or creative humor that you might not want your name attached to on a more mainstream social media site."

Other students are not so pleased with the app, however.

Miami's Social Media Specialist Kelly Bennett said her office and President David Hodge have received several emails the past two weeks urging the university to do something to shut down the app.

While there is not much the university can do to shut down the app at this moment, Bennett offers some alternatives. She suggests students use the app to post positive content to overshadow the negative posts that are currently dominating the app. Bennett also believes the app's popularity will not last long.

"I think it will die out over the summer, and I think people will get bored of it," Bennett said. "It's just the same thing over and over again."

Gieringer also said he believes the app is starting to run its course.

"Now that it has become more popular at Miami, the feed is starting to become diluted with boring and half-witted responses," he said. "I feel like the app has peaked."

Senior Julia Engelbrecht said she only looks at the app when she is bored and usually dislikes the posts she sees. She said a majority of the posts poke fun at specific sororities and fraternities or at students not affiliated with a Greek organization.

"I think it only continues to support the stereotype of Miami students being stuck up and rude," she said.

Andrew Boehm, Assistant Director of the Office of Admissions, said he is not concerned about prospective students viewing the app when they visit campus.

"When students come and see this place first hand and talk to the people here, anything that is an avenue for negative comments about Miami goes by the wayside," Boehm said.

While many negative posts are present on the app, Bennett said it is likely that the same few people repeatedly posting to the app and is not representative of the student body.

"Our students are our number one ambassadors and they always do a phenomenal job showing what life is like on this campus," Boehm said. "With record number of applications coming in year after year, I think they're doing a pretty good job showing the positive things about Miami as opposed to anything negative."

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