The value of negative Yik Yak

There has been a lot of talk about banning Yik Yak from UNC’s campus this past month. And its understandable. It seems whenever a racially charged issue pops up on campus, Yik Yak devolves into nothing but extremely offensive posts that I won’t repeat here. The argument for banning Yik Yak that resonates with me most is that it can make students feel unsafe on campus. It is hard to tell someone not to listen to some of the things I’ve seen posted.

Still I think there can be value in seeing some of the hate speech on social media. It lets us know that there are still problems, and some people still are capable of thinking awful things. Would banning Yik Yak really treat the problem? Or would it just treat the symptoms? If we took away this anonymous forum would we take away the issues? Or just the awareness that there still are issues?

Honestly, still don’t know where I stand on if Yik Yak should be banned. Both sides offer good arguments. But I do know that many people think racism is not an issue in the United States, and simply taking away forums where it can be expressed could grow this lack of awareness.

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