Yik Yak App Disabled in Chicago Schools

Several Chicago schools have banned the Yik Yak app, citing that the app promotes cyberbullying.

CHICAGO – School administrators at four Chicago-area schools have issued letters to parents warning them about the dangers of Yik Yak, a smartphone app that allows individuals to post anonymous comments to users in a 5- to 10-mile radius.

The free app, which has been likened to other social media platforms, such as Twitter, Snapchat and Ask.fm, has raised concern with Chicago-based administrators, as many believe students use the service to threaten and bully others, Chicago Tribune reports.

Because Yik Yak promotes anonymity, many users can make potentially harmful comments. Some high school administrators, such as Barry Rodgers, principal at Lake Forest High School, downloaded the application for themselves to monitor comments after students expressed concerns about cruel posts.

As a result, several schools warned parents to remove Yik Yak from their children’s phones and make sure students don’t reinstall it. Additionally, several districts have banned the service from their networks.

Cyberbullying isn’t the only threat that Yik Yak can cause, according to administrators. Earlier this month, a Massachusetts high school was evacuated twice after someone posted bomb threats on the app. In February, an Alabama teen posted a shooting threat against McGill-Toolen Catholic High School.

The creators of Yik Yak, who said the app was designed for college-age students, will disable the app in the Chicago area. The developers are currently looking for ways to prevent the app from being used on high school and middle school campuses.

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