Clemson to discuss possible ban on Yik Yak app on campus - FOX Carolina 21

Clemson to discuss possible ban on Yik Yak app on campus

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Student protestor are advocating for a ban on Yik Yak from Clemson University. (Jan. 9, 2015/FOX Carolina) Student protestor are advocating for a ban on Yik Yak from Clemson University. (Jan. 9, 2015/FOX Carolina)
CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -  A popular iPhone and Android app used by students at Clemson could be banned on campus if some student protestors have their way.

Yik Yak, created by two Furman University graduates in 2013, is an app where users can anonymously post messages about whatever topic they desire. Many use it to find out what is happening on campus, but some say it is used for more sinister reasons. Groups on campus calling for more racial diversity and tolerance at Clemson claim the app is being used to spread hate speech and racial epithets. This after recent protests on campus reflecting sentiment surrounding the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases.

"Sometimes people use that anonymity to post some pretty hurtful remarks," said Cathy Sams, spokeswoman for Clemson University.

Protestors on campus this week called for a ban on the app. University officials said they will discuss it in February.

"We encourage free speech and the free exchange of ideas and we're very reluctant to try and inhibit that," said Sams. "At the same time, we do listen to our students, so when they bring a concern forward we want to make sure that we listen."

Students who spoke with FOX Carolina said they feel the discourse on Yik Yak is inappropriate, and sometimes shocking. However, they do not feel it is good to disrupt free speech on campus.

"Things that people put on there are ridiculous, but they have the right to say whatever they want," said freshman Zack Joksch.

"I don't think it should be banned," said Marshall Denny, another freshman. "Just don't open it if it bothers you."

Sophomore Dorothy Davis, who participated in recent protests on campus, said it's not the app, but attitudes on campus that need to change. "I don't think it's the app that's the problem, I think it's people's attitudes about certain issues."

Yik Yak has been banned on other campuses around the country. FOX Carolina reached out to the developers for comment, but received no response.

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