Yik Yak is Back

By: Conor Merrick | Editor-in-Chief | cpm2022@jagmail.southalabama.edu

Image Source: Yik Yak’s Twitter

Yes, those words just appeared in that order and the world may be worse off for it. Once again, the chaos of this Tennessee-based anonymous social media platform is available for download. 

The app was re-debuted on Aug. 16 with new community guidelines posted on their site along with an updated terms of service. In the guidelines, there’s a small paragraph warning users they won’t be very anonymous if they post something illegal or outside of their terms of service.

“Also, this is a public forum and your yaks are public. You are responsible for your yaks and their consequences and your interactions with other yakkers,” Yik Yak wrote near the beginning of their community guardrails. We urge you to be cautious about your interactions.”

Students may remember Yik Yak appearing for the first time back in 2013. People posted memes and asked funny questions at first but eventually, trolls got ahold of the app and that was that. 

The anonymous messaging board quickly made a name for itself after headlines like this one from Hattiesburg American, about a man threatening someone on the app, started popping up all over the country. 

What was supposed to be an anonymous app meant for people to speak freely and openly, quickly turned into a grimy exchange of gossip, cyberbullying, racism and death threats. Other apps and sites like Whisper and 4chan gained similar reputations but,” perhaps none has proved so consistently problematic — so apparently irredeemable — as Yik Yak, the scourge of campuses from California to Concord, N.H.,” reporter Caitlin Dewey wrote in an article published by The Washington Post.

Others had similarly strong feelings and consequently, Yik Yak was shut down in 2017 by owners Brooks Buffington and Tyler Droll, according to an article by Biz Carson from Business Insider. 

Thankfully, there are still those who post lighthearted memes, advice, motivation for the day and so on. So Yik Yak has taken to their Twitter to try and sport a cleaner, friendlier image by highlighting them on their page.

Featured post on Yik Yak’s Twitter

Some are happy to have the app back while others aren’t so enthusiastic about its return like this Twitter user:

Source: Twitter

This is definitely not the case for everyone as some users seem happy to be back on Yik Yak.

Source: Yik Yak

With that said, the University of South Alabama is aware of the app’s return.

“The University strongly encourages people to come forward with concerns about any kind of hateful or threatening speech, whether it’s on social media, printed messages or verbal,” Director of media relations Lance Crawford, wrote in a text to the Vanguard. “Once we are made aware of a problem we can take immediate actions to remedy it.”

Love it or hate it, Yik Yak is here to stay for the time being. Who knows if the app will close down again but maybe a facelift and a fresh start is a step in the right direction for the Yak.

Feeling excited about the return of Yik Yak or just the opposite? Tell us all about it by filling out this survey!