December 25, 2015

FREE SPEECH, OUTSIDE THE CONTROL OF ADMINISTRATORS AND SCREAMING-GARBAGE-BABY CRYBULLY FELLOW STUDENTS: What Is Yik Yak, and Why Do College Students Love It So Much?

Related thoughts from Virginia Postrel.

The Yik Yak I saw came closer to the company’s public-relations aspirations (“home to the casual, relatable, heartfelt, and silly things that connect people with their community”) than to the hate-drenched graffiti its critics had led me to expect. Though largely banal, my samples at Princeton, and later at UCLA and Santa Monica College, revealed Yik Yak posts to be mostly good-natured, often stupid, but rarely evil. At SMC, students typically complain about the parking shortage; at UCLA, they gripe about food; at Princeton they desperately crave sleep. Everywhere they talk about sex.

Most striking is how the anonymity of Yik Yak creates a place of support and solidarity amid academic and social struggles. Shielded by anonymity, students give voice not just to the angry id that attracts condemnation and media notice but to the pain and insecurities they often won’t admit to their friends.

Read the whole thing.

Related: Guy Who Threatened To ‘Shoot Every Black’ Kid On Campus… Is Black.

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