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Keeping Your Kids Safe: Yik Yak App Isn’t So Innocent

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss– Yik Yak app has an Ocean Springs mother worried–and for a good reason, too. 

An ‘electronic hate book’ is how one Ocean Springs mother describes Yik Yak to WLOX. Yik Yak is an app that allows users to post anonymously to a forum about their area. The mom is Ocean Springs says it’s being used by students to degrade and bully each other.

Yik Yak may be on your child’s phone. That’s why News Mississippi looked at the app description to figure out how it could be a danger to your kid. The app is designed to act as a place to post about what’s going on in your local area and connect to people; even if you don’t know them.

There are two problems here. The first is the same issue with any social media: you don’t know the person on the other end. For example, randomkid14 could actually be an adult preying on teens. The second issue lies with how the app is being used. Instead of using the app to discuss local happenings, kids are using the app to publicly bully and humiliate each other, as the Ocean Springs mother was saying. This could allow for any graphic information or blatant bullying to happen right in front of every user in that forum. Since it is anonymous, tracking users is difficult. Those problems are the same as with any social media.

Yik Yak requires that users be 17 in order to download the application. It is verified by the date of birth, which could be altered in order to get the app. So why do you have to be 17? Here’s what the Apple Store has on its website:

  • Intense fantasy violence
  • Sexually charged content
  • Nudity
  • Drug and Alcohol related content
  • Unrestricted Web Access
  • Profanity
  • Horror and Fear content

Yik Yak isn’t much different from other social media, but it allows anonymity which could be used to bully, harass and humiliate. Monitoring your child’s use of the app could prevent these things from happening.

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