Last issue, I expressed my disdain for Yik Yak and the woes of anonymity within an open forum, and while I admit that piece may have lacked a certain nuance, it’s difficult to debate that the app allows people to say a lot of stupid stuff. That’s why, in the interest of seeing just how far I could push it before the UVic yakkers pushed back, I assumed a false identity, one that would post without restraint.
That identity: notorious Betsy Ross Museum volunteer and Twitter personality @dril.
My mission: share the profound insights of Weird Twitter’s poster boy as my own, and see how the masses respond. If yakkers could get away with calling UVSS Director of External Relations Kenya Rogers a bitch or saying the UVSS is the modern Gestapo, then saying something equally outrageous as “not a single picture of Stonehenge exists” would surely take off. Right?
Here’s how the first few attempts went down.
Tweet: ”someone please. ive bitten into a nasty apple and I don’t know how to spit things out of my mouth. ivr never spit before and i need help”
Result: I thought this would be relatable, as the teens say, as it displayed the same helplessness as the many yakkers who ask when assignments are due without checking their course outlines. But this was taken down not ten minutes later.
Tweet: “the pursuit of having trhe nicest opinions online… is the only thing that separates us from the god damn animals. the sole reason we exist”
Result: Deleted fifteen minutes later. I hoped yakkers could see past the typos for the truth hidden within, but alas.
Tweet: ”just read something fucked up… Not a single picture of stonehenge exists.”
Result: This proved too outrageous a claim for the perceptive yakkers, with one asking me if I had tried Google Images. This was, again, deleted shortly after.
And so on. I tried once more the following Tuesday, hoping to bottle the lightning that eluded me the day previous, but no luck. At time of writing, one of the top UVic yaks says “Tfw you find out that your tinder date is a trans girl. Sex was good tho.” (5 upvotes.) That’s fucking stupid, let alone offensive. Why does that stuff get to stick around, when something as innocent as not being able to swallow a gross apple gets shunned?
Maybe it just comes down to platforms and their respective audiences. Whereas Twitter’s weirder personalities are hyper-ironic realizations of the super-ego, Yik Yak is the sex-deranged id of the student body. And that’s fine. Different strokes, and all that. There’s a fundamental opposition of purpose that I failed to account for when conducting this silly experiment, but the results are enlightening. Keep It Simple, Stupid is the law of Yik Yak. There’s no room for the irony boys of Twitter, not in a place where people lay their truths so bare for all to see. Dril himself said it best: “why don’t you sing about real things instead of doing irony”
Maybe it’s time I sang a different tune.
Editor’s note: Numerous jokers have pointed out that my yaks were likely deleted because they received a ton of down votes, and not because a moderator deleted them. This is an issue of semantics, though I will concede that it was likely Yik Yak’s cruel democracy rather than a totalitarian moderator that removed my yaks.