University of Rochester will not ban Yik Yak

Local News

The University of Rochester will not ban the controversial app, Yik Yak, despite a commission’s recommendation to do so.

Yik Yak allows users to anonymously post messages that can be seen within a certain radius.

In February 2015, university officials were notified about racist and violent posts after after academic living center housing privileges were renewed for Douglass Leadership House. Yik Yak was also one of the issues that lead to a peaceful student protest in November 2015.

After the protest, university president Joel Seligman formed a commission on race and Diveristy. In January, it recommended banning Yik Yak on university servers and wireless networks.

President Seligman says he supports steps to eliminate racist posts on Yik Yak, but not an outright ban. In a statement, he says, ” Hateful statements could still be posted to Yik Yak using a user’s own wireless network provider or on other social networks using aliases or assumed names. Significantly, to ban Yik Yak from our wi-fi networks likely would end our ability to secure Yik Yak’s support in helping identify those who send hateful statements and to strengthen filters to exclude hateful or threatening messages. 

To see the commission’s recommendations click here.

To see Seligman’s entire response, including steps he wants to take to eliminate racists posts on Yik Yak, click here.

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