Nowadays anonymous social apps are all hype, as users take back their privacy online and increase anonymity in their digital presence. Other than popular apps like Secret and Whisper, the anonymous social app Yik Yak has raised $1.5 million after a certain cyberbullying scandal that drew national headlines.
For those unfamiliar with Yik Yak, this is an app similar to Twitter aimed at local college campuses. The app aims to connect people through anonymous, location-based posts, where users can post anything college-related, such as new events, complaints and share news revolving around the campus. However, the founders of the app Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington never expected the app to transform into a platform for cyberbullying in high schools.
Since the app provides anonymity, users can be as harsh and cruel as they want and even gang up on a certain individual. It is difficult to catch the perpetrator online, therefore the cyberbullying continues in an endless loop. Some examples of cyberbullying include users bullying a girl for getting raped, a certain user threatening to shoot someone on campus and even anonymous bomb threats. Due to the severity of these cyberbullying cases, the use of the app Yik Yak has been banned in several schools.
Despite the cyberbullying scandal that revolved around the app Yik Yak, experts always claim that any kind of publicity is good publicity. After shutting down the use and access of the app for middle-school and high school students, the company is growing by 100 users per network per day, with over 90% daily engagement among active users. Although middle-school and high school students were the largest demographic for the app at the time, the founders no longer have to rely on mean teenagers to gain financial profit. Due to the success of the app, the company managed to raise $1.5 million in a short period of time.
While anonymous social apps give privacy back to its users, this in turn enhances usersâ freedom to share various types of information, which even includes terrorist or death threats. Now with the convenience of these apps, users do not have to think twice before posting information online – in turn, this has made them more cruel and less humane online.