Anonymous bullying posts on Yik Yak not acceptable

Kellie Bowen, Staff Writer


There is a wonderful little virtual world called Yik Yak, a place where all the green lanterns and pink socks and grey acorns can post about Netflix and chill, horny endeavors, politics, and, if we’re lucky, that witty post that scored 50+ up-votes.

Even though that you know and I know that everything on here is anonymous, there is still a human being on the other end of that screen you’re holding in your hand.

It has occurred to me that “anon” is the new face of the cyberbully. Just because a yellow sailboat called an OP an idiot doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt. Bullies do not go away after high school.

How many students here post mean things on that app?  According to, “About 25 to 30 percent of the young people surveyed admitted experiencing or taking part in cyberbullying, but only 12 percent said the same about traditional bullying.”

Can you imagine the percentage of bullying happens on an anonymous basis? It could be from that person who you thought was a kind person. It is far, far easier to bully someone when it can’t be identified.

It is truly unbelievable to think that people even support the cruel comments by tapping on that up-vote arrow. I know that it has made me feel ganged up on multiple times.

That’s the part that can drive someone into or back into depression. The simple notion of being called stupid or an inconsiderate asshole by multiple people for, let’s say, having an opinion (which seems to be one of the most common) is not only immature and mean, but with a surplus of those kind of comments one after another could make someone feel small and very, very alone.

Another common yak type that I have seen is the fresh supply of rumors after a party night. Initials are used (it’s a small campus and an even smaller group of party goers, it’s not that hard to figure out who is who), embarrassing rumors are spread (reputation builder), and just nasty things are being said if things didn’t go OP’s way. Many students wake up after a party to see that post about them. Not only is it humiliating, it can lead to even more unwanted rumors and ridicule. Whether that student gets depressed or not, the action is not right.

Yes, we have all been bullied and picked on, but remember that some have inflicted self-harm or even taken their own lives over it. How awful and tragic that would be? It is because the pain never stops and will never seem to go away.

Believe it or not, there are state anti-bullying laws that many states enforce (see for more). And in Oregon, prohibited conduct includes retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying as well as perpetuating bullying or harassing conduct by spreading hurtful or demeaning material even if the material was created by another person (e.g., forwarding offensive e-mails or text messages).

If you feel you are a victim of cyberbullying or traditional bullying, please contact the Linfield Student Health, Wellness and Counseling at (503) 883-2535, or please reach out to someone you know, including family and friends.

Please, do us all a favor, and report or delete by down-voting mean yaks, even if you agree with the bully or hate the OP’s opinion. Stop cyberbullying. Don’t tread on anyone.