Shut Down the app "Yik Yak"
UPDATE 10/27/15: Last year I declared victory on this petition after meeting with Tyler and Brooks at Yik Yak. They assured me that various new policies would go into effect that would protect kids from bullying and harassment on Yik Yak. Nearly a year later, those promises have not held up, so I have started a new petition calling on Yik Yak to institute those changes or be removed from the App Store and Google Play. You can view it here.
Yik Yak, an anonymous messaging app, launched last year with the stated intent of “[sharing] your thoughts with people around you while keeping your privacy.” Instead of being a harmless and fun social network, the app has turned into a haven for bullying, threats, and hate speech, mostly focused on kids in middle school and high school. I know this, because it happened to me.
My name is Elizabeth. I’m 18 years old, and earlier this year I tried to commit suicide. While still recovering, I started seeing messages about me on Yik Yak, anonymously telling me that I should kill myself. And I am not the only one.
Teens, teachers and school administrators are ridiculed on this app everyday. Kids are telling other kids to kill themselves. This is beyond unacceptable, and it is time that we stand up and do something about it before a life is senselessly lost because of this app.
Yik Yak allows users to post anonymous messages that are broadcast to other users close by. Then those messages can be voted up or voted down, with the most popular showing up at the top of everyone’s news feed.
With the shield of anonymity, users have zero accountability for their posts, and can openly spread rumors, call classmates hurtful names, send threats, or even tell someone to kill themselves -- and all of these things are happening.
The app claims that it is not meant to be used by people under 17, but there are no safeguards to prevent younger users from downloading the app, and I know from personal experience how popular the app is with younger teens.
The app claims to not tolerate bullying or threats, but no action is being taken to remove threatening or harmful posts, or suspend users who write them.
That is why I am calling on the inventors of the app to create a stronger set of community standards and employ a zero-tolerance policy for bullying and threats -- if they don’t, we want the app removed from the Apple App Store and Google Play immediately.
Please join me to tell the creators of this app, as well as the users who have abused it, that we will not tolerate bullying, no matter what.
- Yik Yak
Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington
Your app "Yik Yak" has become very popular among teenagers recently. The app has been used negatively towards other students, teachers, and administrators. The whole app is a set up for hate speech and bullying. Teens have begun telling others to kill themselves and it is only a matter of time before this app actually ends a life. All we ask is that you please take the app down.
Today: Elizabeth is counting on you
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