Yik Yak: A Source of Trouble

Alex Lauff '26, Guest Writer

While Yik Yak can be fun, there are many ways it can worsen your quality of life. For one, it serves as a conduit for one of Dickinson’s biggest epidemics: complaining. There are surely rightful reasons to be angry at the way Dickinson handles things, but often these complaints are petty. Reading Yaks like this often can make you wonder, “should I be annoyed by that, too?” It can make you pessimistic about your life here when you wouldn’t be otherwise.

On a more serious note, Yik Yak has been a hotspot for targeting individuals. Though it is against the app’s rules to mention people by name, a few people have been made somewhat famous by their numerous appearances on the “Hot Yaks” page. These have ranged from mockery to borderline harassment. It is especially prominent within the freshman class, unsurprisingly. The anonymity which is central to the app’s appeal also leaves open some harmful possibilities. The harassment can continue without consequence, since it is impossible to find out who posted what. 

The app also allows for hate speech to go unchecked, though the downvoting feature keeps unpopular Yaks away from the feed. Seeing hateful or inappropriate speech, even if it gets taken down a little while later, could still make someone feel like they aren’t welcome on campus. The total lack of accountability on Yik Yak coupled with the negative attitudes that many Yaks have makes Yik Yak a problem for Dickinson College.