Death Threats on Yik Yak

By Jasmine Dobbins

Yik Yak creators, Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington, struck gold when they came up with the idea behind this anonymous app, most popular amongst college students who actively use it in the same vicinity.

However, the idea of an app being anonymous has left room for college students to speak more freely than Droll and Buffington may have intended. What was meant to be a positive outlet for college students to express themselves about whatever was on their mind, has turned into a social media app that has college students across the country fearing for their safety on their campuses.

Several death threats have been reported on this app attacking a specific group of people or the entire campus. Yik Yak brought in more than a dozen death threats on college campuses in 2015, according to The Maneater. The most recent case being a student at Missouri University who posted over the app that he was going to “bomb” his test.

It was reported that Western Washington University shut down for a week after a 19-year-old student threatened a select few ethnic groups such as, Native Americans, Jews, Blacks, Muslims, etc. Students at WWU expressed their frustrations when this threat occurred because of their previous efforts to make the faculty aware of their lack of protection throughout the campus, and criticized the universities failed solution of the “buddy system”.

There have been no solutions made for school administrations can permanently exterminate this problem. There have been cases where security has monitored the app for an “x” amount of time, but due to the first amendment, the role of officials and administration pertaining to this app is limited. However, most educators suggest continuing to have open communication between students, parents, and teachers in regards to these concerns.


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