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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.
I only want yik yak back if everyone’s location is set on their undergraduate campus so we can all complain anonymously about college life together. simpler times
— Victoria 😬 (@victoriagraupp) August 16, 2021
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.