Racial slurs. Dating ads. Boredom. These are what consume the message boards of Yik Yak – at least in the Georgia College region. Recent events at GC have made this app a hot-button issue. If you haven’t heard, derogatory racial comments aimed at children from the surrounding area were posted over the weekend. They were called “monkeys” and there were encouragements to “get up and auction them off.”
Those who wrote these comments are protected by the First Amendment to say these things, which gives The Colonnade some conflict: We, not only as a newsroom but also as individual journalists, wholeheartedly advocate American’s right to exercise freedom of speech. However, we do not, in any way, condone what has and what continues to be said on Yik Yak. In fact, we support the exact contrary. We strive for equality for all, and we believe the types of speech on Yik Yak are regressive to the overall discourse at the this university because it isn’t true conversation.
It’s half-conversations, things where any body can be anyone behind the veil of anonymity. A blessing in some eyes, but to us the opposite.
The most troubling part of this issue is that these kinds of posts are still occurring. Although some have spoken out against these comments, others do not seem to care that they have and continue to offend others with these types of posts.
Unfortunately, there are no repercussions for individuals who post offensive messages. The posts are made anonymously, and the page is constantly updated, which makes it a challenge to locate a specific post without taking a screenshot of it. Apps like Yik Yak, although funny at times, allow hate speech to spread without consequence. This further instills the idea that you can say whatever you want without being held accountable.
We support your ability to say what you want to say, but not necessarily the things you say with that privilege.
But that’s not the only thing to arise on Yik Yak’s board. Multiple posts looking for that special someone have frequently come up. There are unrequited folks: “To the girl walking into Herty with a grey sweatshirt and cream scarf. You’re stunning please date or talk to me!” Then there are others: “Can someone please tell me the name of the blond at the gym todayShe there all the time and no one knows her name with the f**king nose ring@”
Some of the posts aren’t so clean. One post even mentioned a couple having sex in the Den’s women’s restroom. Others are crudely asking for someone to show them a good time. “I am one of the best p**sy eaters on the planet…I will take applications below.”
Yik Yak was created to anonymously vent about their issues, not to degrade another ethnicity or try to elicit sex from other people. We are taught the three R’s for a reason.