1:30 p.m., Jan. 17)
social media app blamed on spat of high school fire alarms
By Fred Sherwin
at four Orléans high schools had their classes
interrupted by fire alarms on Thursday thanks to what
authorities are blaming on the latest social media phone
first fire alarm was sounded at École secondaire
Beatrice-Desloges at 1:05 p.m. Twenty-one minutes later
a fire alarm went off at St. Peter High School on Charlemagne
Blvd. Forty-five minutes after that a fire alarm was sounded
at École secondaire Gisele-Lalonde. Then, 26 minutes
later the fire alarm went off at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary
School on Tenth Line Road.
believe the series of alarms began with a dare posted
on Yik Yak, a new phone app launched a little over a year
ago that has been steadily gaining popularity among area
high school students .
Yak is similar to Twitter, with the added appeal of total
least one student at Beatrice-Desloges confirmed to CFRA
that someone made a dare to pull the fire alarm at the
school if they received 100 likes on the new app. They
did and moments later the alarm went off.
believe copy cat dares resulted in the fire alarms at
the other three schools.
daring people to pull fire alarms is only the tip of the
iceberg when it comes to the potential damage Yik Yak
can have on people and especially teenagers bent on bullying
enough people became outraged over cyberbullying on Facebook
and Twitter, the two social media sites introduced anti-bullying
policies. Yik Yak has no such policy.
can use aliases and avatars that completely conceal their
identities, making it possible for them to spread rumours
with complete anonymity.
with an Android or iOS platform download the Yik Yak app.
Once downloaded, users can view a personal newsfeed populated
by posts, or Yaks, submitted by other users
within a 2.4-kilometre radius known as a herd.
What makes the app so popular among cyberbullies, is that
you don't have to sign in or create a user name to write
a "Yak" making posts completely anonymous.
app was initially intended for university students to
discuss lectures and other course material. It was very
quickly usurped by young people who feel a need to post
material anonymously within their own geographic location.
Yaks user rules prohibit bullying and cluttering
the message feed with useless or offensive yaks",
but the rule is broken on a daily basis. Despite the promise
of anonymity, users who use the app to commit a crime
can still be tracked down. Several Yik Yak users have
been arrested and charged in the United States for uttering
bomb threats over the app.
app has gained so much notoriety that more than 77,000
people have signed a petition to shut it down, and the
region's four school boards have all blocked Yik Yak on
their wi-fi networks. Unfortunately, students with data
accounts can still use the app on school grounds.
of teens who have data accounts are being encouraged to
discuss the responsible use of smart phones with their
kids and in particular the dangers of Yik Yak.
find out more visit http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/thousands-want-gossip-app-yik-yak-shut-down-1.2135106.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
to Front Page