A slew of feminist groups have been stirring up controversy with popular college app called Yik Yak, claiming the totally anonymous posts found on the app breed an environment of racism, sexism and cyber bullying.
Yik Yak is a free mobile app for college campuses and surrounding areas which lets users post anonymous messages when on or near their campus. Users can also designate their school location as their “herd,” which lets users view and post to their college’s board no matter where they are.
Fox reported on Wednesday that several feminist groups sent a letter last week to the U.S. Department of Education for Civil Rights asking for more censorship on the already privately monitored app.
Radical groups like National LGBTQ Task Force, Feminist Majority Foundation, and the National Organization for Women demanded in the letter that college administrators should start monitoring and regulating the anonymous comments posted. The feminists claimed in the letter that some posters bully other users with comments that are motivated by sexism or racism, and need to be stopped by campus bureaucrats.
But Fox News reported this monitoring could be unconstitutional. (RELATED: Meet The Taxpayer-Funded Feminist Professor Who Demands ‘Men Control’)
“The speech to which this letter objects includes a great deal of speech protected under the First Amendment,” UCLA School of Law Professor Eugene Volokh told Fox News. The professor later added, “The breadth of the restriction just shows how little concern this coalition has for free speech rights.”
The College Fix reported that this is not the first time groups and universities have spoken out against Yik Yak. Saint Louis University banned the app last week, restricting the college’s Wi-Fi network to run the app. SLU bureaucrats claimed the restriction was justified on the premise that the app violated the school’s “appropriate use” policy.
Initially launched in 2013, the app has grown to have a presence on over 1,600 college campuses, with many college students using it as a message board.
In a similar case of stringent monitoring, another app called Peeple received harsh criticism earlier this month after its launch. Critics said that the app perpetuates hateful language, and this criticism even prompted a delayed release date.
Peeple is a spin-off of the Yelp app, but designed for people to rate one another.
One of the app’s co-founders, Julia Codray, shot down critics’ claims, however, and told The Washington Post, “As two empathetic female entrepreneurs in the tech space, we want to spread love and positivity…We want to operate with thoughtfulness.”