What is Yik Yak?

Posted By: Jenn Hatcher

The Smartphone app Yik Yak is garnering attention after a bomb threat at York High School.

Yik Yak is like twitter but all anonymous.

The app appears to be most popular with teenagers and on college campuses.

There are networks based on zip codes.

On the UNL network, topics Tuesday, ranged from the weather to Mardi Gras parties, to a lost handbag.

Those posts are harmless but nationwide threats and bullying are becoming a problem.

Some UNL students say they’ve seen malicious attacks on Yik Yak.

Senior Morgan Harpenau deleted the app, she says, “People weren’t very nice and on it and I kind of just got rid of it because I didn’t want to see people being rude and mean things being said.”

Sophomore Aaron Mortensen adds, “A lot of time people put like serious stuff up there but I tend not to do that, I just like to joke around on the app, say funny stuff.”

Yik Yak website says they take attacks and threats very seriously and cooperate with law enforcement in these cases; the posts can be traced back to an ip address.

UNL professor, Barney McCoy, analyzes and collects social media data. He says online threats and bullying are a scary reality in this day and age. “Anytime it’s anonymous it can be more dangerous because people who are reading the information just don’t know what the motivation of the source was, that posted the information to begin with,” states McCoy. He adds sometimes these posts to social media, allow officials to be one step ahead of any attackers, “If someone really intends on doing those kinds of things are they going to advertise their intent, maybe, may not, it certainly is the obligation of any responsible agency to check that out.”