Proximity chatting app Yik Yak gets disabled in Chicago

In the years since learning that her daughter had been bullied on the Internet, Sandy Reeves has made a point of following social media trends and tracking new apps where teens can hurl insults at one another. She knows them all. Or at least she thought she did. The Hanover Park mother was surprised Thursday to learn that several local schools sent letters warning parents about the dangers of Yik Yak, a Twitter-like application that lets kids post anonymous comments to users in a 5-or 10-mile radius.

The developers of Yik Yak, an app that works as an anonymous message board for up to 500 people in close proximity to one another, have selectively disabled the app’s use in Chicago following vicious sniping and rumor mongering by children using it at school. WLS-TV in Chicago reports that people in the city won’t be able to use Yik Yak until the developers figure out a way to get youth usage under control. Apps for sharing information anonymously like Wut and Secret have seen a recent surge in popularity. In the case of Wut and Secret, users are connected to people they actually know—Secret uses the mobile device’s contact list, and Wut’s (anonymous) contacts are powered by Facebook.

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