As part of their relentless pursuit of new and disturbing ways to torment each other, our nation's teenagers are flocking to Yik Yak, a newish app that is similar to Twitter, but anonymous as graffiti on a co-ed bathroom wall. The service acts as a hyper-local bulletin board, using GPS technology to group messages together within a radius of five miles or less. For consenting adults, it's a better way to share ramen porn with nearby aficionados than using Twitter, where everyone can see that you are the one looking at ramen porn. But for teenagers, it's a perfect way to upload their inherent cruelty straight to the Internet with zero accountability.
"With Yik Yak, we allow anyone to have that power, that audience, and you’re not limited by who’s following who,” Atlanta-based co-founder Tyler Droll tells Fox News. “And this app isn’t a one-to-one messenger. Anyone within 1.5 miles can see it. We equate it to a virtual bulletin board.”
The virtual bulletin board was an instant hit at Connecticut's Staples high school, where students used it to anonymously share such observations as "N. likes the taste of thick pussy and wheelchair pussy" and "How long do we think before A. B. kills herself?" New York magazine redacted the real names in its interesting hip-level story about Yik Yak, but there's nothing stopping any given teenager from anonymously bullying anyone in a 5 mile radius by name. And if you think they're going to spare the adults, you don't know teens.
After learning that Yik Yak posts had driven some students to tears, Staples Principal John Dodig made a school-wide announcement urging students not to look at the app. Hopefully he followed his own advice, because someone or someones immediately took to Yik Yak to declare that "Mr. Dodig molested me with a weed wacker" and "John Dodig touched my no-no parts."
Fox news reports that one Connecticut school district asked Yik Yak "to utilize its GPS technology to block access to the app within all of its campuses." The company agreed, and Yik Yak has been blocked from three middle schools and two high schools within the district. "We’re proactively trying to keep high schoolers off the app,” Droll tells Fox. “It’s being used very well at colleges. We think psychologically high schoolers aren’t ready to use our app." College students, of course, are well-known for their maturity and restraint when it comes to social media.