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Hot Story:

Yik Yak and Cyber Bullying

An advisory from Leslie Mitchel Bond, Director of Bullying Prevention

CHICAGO, IL, March 7, 2014 – The National Office wants to make sure we all are aware of a new App designed for college students that has made its way on the cell phones of high school students across the country.

 

 

Yik Yak, an app similar in design to Snap Chat with words streaming in a Twitter like feed that disappear, allows other users in a given location (e.g., school) to view all comments. To register, users are asked to confirm that they are 17, but many click “agree” who are younger and with no profile or password, the communication is completely anonymous.

 

 

To date, reports of threats and slander in high schools from Alabama, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania have caused principals to block the app from wireless networks or ban children from using cellular devices in school.

 

 

With over 185,000 current users, this app raises new concerns about Cyber Bullying. As an organization, Prevent Child Abuse America seeks to promote positive digital citizenship and encourages the network to alert their local affiliates and social media channels to the dangers of this app as well as ways to educate parents and teens about appropriate relationship skills both in person and on-line.

 

 

We have an opportunity to make this a teachable moment for parents and educators about how behaviors and choices impact others, particularly in the digital world.

 

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Leslie Mitchel Bond, Director, Bullying Prevention Services at lbond@preventchildabuse.org

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