Investigation launched into Yik Yak app following ‘racist’ comments

A student posted this image to the YUSU Facebook page.
A student posted this image to the YUSU Facebook page.

Students are calling on the University to tackle racism after offensive comments were left on social media platforms.

A University of York student sent screenshots of posts made on the anonymous social media platform, Yik Yak, to the YUSU Facebook page.

In his post he said: “Tell me this isn’t racist YUSU.

“The statements made in this application were by students of the University of York.

“Users on this application enjoy anonymity and this therefore allows users to make posts that they do not have to account for.”

He concludes his post with: “Occurrences such as these lead one to ask whether the university has a problem with racism that needs to be addressed. Your Call YUSU.”

The screenshot of a post on the app read: “I’ve painted my laptop black in the hope it will run faster”.

Yik Yak can no longer be accessed from schools across the US due to a national ban following cyberbullying reports.

However the app has not yet enforced any location restrictions in the UK.

YUSU President Sam Maguire said: “I am meeting with the student this week to talk about their experience and start to develop strategies on how to tackle all forms of abusive behaviour on YikYak.

“Although YikYak is normally a place for students to show off their undeniable wit there is a danger due to the anonymity of the app that can lead to people acting beyond inappropriately.

“Unfortunately due to said anonymity it makes it harder to tackle.”

Other users have complained of comments on the app as being ‘sexist’ and ‘objectifying women’.

Comments posted on the app are anonymous.
Comments posted on the app are anonymous.

A University spokesman stated he was aware of the app and said: “Whether or not comments on social media are anonymised, we expect all members of the University community to treat each other with dignity and respect, and to avoid making comments which could be construed as racist.

“We are in the process of developing new social media guidelines which ​will make clear what is acceptable and what is not.”

Twitter: @TButlerRoberts

2 Comments

  1. 28 April 2015 - 14:47 GMT

    With anonymity will come a lot of problems, but its a great app, you should download yik yak and see for yourself.

  2. Sexism?
    29 April 2015 - 11:27 GMT

    Of course it’s not like a lot of girls objectify themselves by using the excuse of a bit of sunshine (despite it still being cold) to wear extremely revealing clothing. And of course it’s not like such women wear the same revealing clothing all year round on nights out, despite it probably being extremely uncomfortable and freezing. Now you can hardly use the ‘heat’ excuse there can you, so what is the reason for this revealing clothing? Who is objectifying who here exactly? I wish some people thought about what they were saying before freely shouting ‘sexist’ at anything. The meaning and impact of the word seems to have been diluted by the amount of times it has been used. But you know, that’s just my opinion.

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