Yik Yak, the anonymous messaging app, returns : NPR

A new version of the Yik Yak app is currently only available on the Apple App Store in the United States. Here is a March 2014 photo illustration of the app in the Google Play Store.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images


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Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images


A new version of the Yik Yak app is currently only available on the Apple App Store in the United States. Here is a March 2014 photo illustration of the app in the Google Play Store.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

After a four-year hiatus, Yik Yak, the once-popular anonymous messaging app accused of cyberbullying and hate speech, is back. This time, the new owners promise to take a tougher stance against abuse.

The new owners bought the rights to redevelop the location-based app from its original creator in February, calling it “the same Yik Yak experience that millions knew and loved.”

“We’re bringing Yik Yak back because we believe the global community deserves a place of authenticity, a place of equality, and a place to connect with people nearby,” the owners said on the company’s website on Monday. .

Yik Yak was popular on campus

Launched in 2013, Yik Yak swept the country becoming popular on college campuses as well as middle and high schools.

The app allows users to post messages anonymously on its platform within 5 miles of their location. Posts can be upvoted or downvoted by users.

At the height of its popularity, the company raised $73 million and was once valued at around $400 million in 2014, according to TechCrunch.

In April 2017, the company announced that the app would be shut down following a decline in user engagement – ​​by the end of 2016, user downloads had dropped 76% from 2015.

New company takes a stand against hate speech and bullying

Prior to shutting down, Yik Yak was the subject of hate speech and cyberbullying on high school and college campuses.

But with the newly launched app, the owners say they’re pledging to take a strong stance against threats and other abuse.

“On the new Yik Yak, Community Guardrails are prohibited from posting intimidating messages or using hate speech, making threats, or sharing anyone’s private information,” the company says on its website. .

It states that if users bully another person, use hate speech, make a threat, or otherwise seriously violate company policies, they could be banned from Yik Yak immediately.

“We are committed to making Yik Yak a fun place free from bullying, threats, and all kinds of negativity,” the company said.

The app’s return has drawn mixed reactions on Twitter, with some people worried it will prompt more.”toxicity in the world” and others joking about being able to complain anonymously about university life.

The new Yik Yak is currently only available for iOS users to download in the US, but the company said it plans to expand to other countries and devices in the near future.

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