Archive for Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Letter to the editor: Ban Yik Yak app

November 25, 2014

To the editor:

Yik Yak has hit the community of Tonganoxie and its arrival has already left giant scars on those who have become its victims.

According to the article “How do you solve a problem like Yik Yak?” by Caitlin Dewey from the Washington Post, Yik Yak has been described as “a platform for hate speech or harassment.”

Yik Yak is in two things: total anonymity and close proximity.

Unlike most other anonymous-sharing apps, Yik Yak asks for virtually no personal information on sign-up. The app that was created for college students has arrived in the hands of anyone who is old enough to work a cell phone. Yik Yak is being used to bully, harass, stalk, threaten, and disclose youths drug activities and sexual exploitations while making it sound cool and fun. Can we not do something to protect our children and community from this forum?

Parents, when our children leave our house with that cell phone in hand, we must take the time to know what apps our children are using before the phone we gave them destroys them. We shouldn’t leave the supervision of our child up to the burden of our local schools to manage. It must start at home.

This app is poison to our society and really needs to be banned before more lives are left with giant scars and maybe even the loss of a precious life from bullying.

Susan Freemyer

Tonganoxie

Comments

Brandon Schenz 3 years ago

Have we as parents really forgotten what it is like to be a kid? Do you really think that banning apps like Yik Yak will prevent the activities you listed in your editorial? I remember graduating highschool 22 years ago, before the internet and cell phones, yet all these activities existed in my rural, farm based community.

We need to educate why these activities are bad rather than just bury our heads in the sand thinking we did good by banning an app. If that's all we do, then next week another app will pop up and your kids will start using that in the same way that they used Yik Yak.

Technology is neither good not bad, it is all in how people use it, so teach kids to use it for good.

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Susan Freemyer 3 years ago

Have you read the bullying statistics? According to this article http://nobullying.com/bullying-statistics-2014/ 83 percent of girls, and 79 percent of boys report being bullied either in school or online. ◾75 percent of school shootings have been linked to harassment and bullying against the shooter. How can you hold a child accountable for their behavior if you can't prove who's behind the nasty, sexually explicit comments on Yik Yak? Have you visited this app? In a perfect world we would all be great responsible parents and our kids would be well behaved. In this world that is far from reality. Did you know that suicide among our children is up? I would think that to solve a problem it takes more than one solution. I'd start with banning this app and continue with your suggestion of continued education for parents and children alike. At least by giving people the facts about the problem, we can open up a dialog with others and our children.

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Brandon Schenz 3 years ago

Again, I don't see any difference in these stats, and what I experienced 25 years ago in high school. The only difference I see is that we are now tracking this information, and that is good. But app banning week not change the numbers, because as I have said these behaviors existed before the apps, and if you ban this app then another week just pop up next week. Now you are playing whack a mole with apps rather than addressing the real issue which is educating the children in what is right and wrong.

Saying that suicide is up it's like saying cops attacking minorities is up, yes the starts do say that, but how can you really compare since we don't have "real" stats from 25 years ago. I'm arguing that these behaviors always existed and technology has enabled us to track them better. There is no more, but we are better able to see the data of what is really going on around us. Another case where technology it's neither good nor bad, but enables us. If you ban this app, then how can you see data that the education of our children is leading to less bullying? Are they really doing it less, or have they found a new way to do it that your stats just are not tracking now?

Please do not attack the technology, address the root issue.

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Susan Freemyer 2 years, 11 months ago

Thank you for you thoughts Mr. Schenz. I stand firm in this matter. Suicide is up. Suicide is a fact and it's sad. Instead of looking at things from your eyes, let's try to reach out to the community and look at it from the eyes of our victims. I don't understand how you can make the comparison between suicide and Law Enforcement Officers allegedly attacking minorities. That to me makes no sense at all. I do know that in 2012, 126 Law Enforcement Officers committed suicide and in the same year 129 lost their lives in the line of duty. Each and every life is important no matter how the statistics are collected and no matter how many victims there are, losing one life is too much. Being bullied by a person that you can not identify can make a victim feel very helpless. This Ap call Yik Yak is dangerous and already in the hands of children and teenagers who shouldn't be using it. Would you hand a child a loaded gun to play with? I don't think so! Evidently educating our children didn't stop bullying when I was a kid and it's not working these days either. Happy Holidays to you!

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