Inside Higher Ed
December 15th, 2014
In the stressful final days of a long and trying semester, Colgate
University professors wanted to spread some love. To get the message
across, they turned to a social media scene frequented by students but
foreign to many professors.
They set out to take back Yik Yak by flooding the anonymous social media app with happy thoughts.
Yik Yak -- like the many “confessions websites” before it -- is associated with campus-specific hateful comments and cyber bullying.
“It started there, and we wanted to end it there,” said Eddie Watkins, an associate professor of biology at Colgate.
Racist comments on Yik Yak were responsible in part for tensions at
Colgate in September that led a group of students to stage a multi-day
sit-in to protest the university’s lack of diversity.
Insulting -- and at times threatening -- comments reappeared on the
app's Colgate page (and elsewhere) in recent weeks as people across the
country have organized to protest grand jury decisions in the deaths of
Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of police.