Does Anonymity Change Behavior?

Do you use Yik Yak?  Do you wish everyone did?  This new social media app allows people in a small area–like students in college–post messages without being identified in any way.  It has resulted in some very offensive “yaks,” including threats of violence and demeaning, sexually explicit language.

If you haven’t encountered Yik Yak yourself, you can read more about it at: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/09/technology/popular-yik-yak-app-confers-anonymity-and-delivers-abuse.html?_r=0.

Would research on Yik Yak posts tell you more about what students are “really” like?  Would you trust such more research more than a study based on tweets that can be linked to their source?  How might you code the postings made with a social media app like Yik Yak?  Would you worry about the representativeness of Yakers for your own university or college? Should a researcher …or anyone… reading a threatening yak alert campus police?

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This entry was posted in Chapter 1, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 14, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 9 and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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