Yik Yak has become extremely popular on my campus, too. Basically, it’s a public forum for short messages like Twitter, except that the posts are “anonymous” (there are no names associated with posts). The app is organized geographically, so that only people in your area–city, college, etc.–can post to that area’s Yik Yak feed.

Because Yik Yak is mostly anonymous (if you make death threats or something, your IP address can be traced, which has happened before), students take to it enthusiastically to share any thought, witticism, joke, or complaint imaginable.

Can the president of a private college ban access to certain websites from devices located on campus property? I’m no legal expert, but I say yes if the students are connecting to the Internet using the college’s Internet services. That doesn’t mean that I agree with the decision to do so.

Norwich University Blocks Yik Yak App On Campus

A Vermont college president has blocked access to an anonymous social media site because he says it was being used for cyberattacks against some students.

Norwich University President Richard Schneider says he realized his decision to block access to the Yik Yak application via the school’s computer system is largely symbolic because students can access it elsewhere, but he says he had to do something.

“I just know that it is hurting my students right now,” he says. “They are feeling awkward, they are feeling hurt, they are feeling threatened.”

Norwich has launched an internal investigation, but no reports of criminal behavior have been made, the school says in a statement.

Yik Yak describes itself as an anonymous gossip app that was launched last November.