Editorial Board

The Spectator Editorial Board discusses the recent anonymous hate comments on Yik Yak


Story by Spectator Staff

Racist comments were recently posted on the mobile app Yik Yak, and they have left UW-Eau Claire’s Bias Incident Response Team preparing for an investigation.

The University warned students on their Facebook page to recognize the nature of similar comments and down vote them to remove them from the app.

Members of The Spectator Editorial Board discussed if mandatory sensitivity meetings could help the situation.

One speaker said they thought it’d be a good idea, but it’d be difficult to determine how effective it was.

“People check out of mandatory things,” the speaker said. “They get scolded but they don’t care. They look at their phones and don’t always pay attention.”

A different member related the recent racist messages to a similar situation from their time in high school and mentioned how difficult meetings like these would be to organize.

The member said if these meetings were organized, they could be really helpful like they were for them in high school.

“One of my really close friends was from Cameroon and we always gave him a hard time about being African,” the speaker said. “We thought it was funny and he pretended to laugh but in this setting, told us he’d put on a good face for us.”

The member realized what they and their friends thought were harmless jokes were senseless, and because they had a chance to speak openly, they learned how they were affecting their friend.

A different speaker said racist messages like these are the product of allowing anyone to post messages anonymously.

“It’s more of a societal problem,” the speaker said. “This isn’t anything (UW-Eau Claire) should worry about fixing. I don’t know much about Yik Yak or have one but I only hope they aren’t making money off messages like these.”

Other members in support of Yik Yak used examples of users posting yaks about returning lost goods.

“But all social media turns sour at some point,” a member said. “It’s unfortunate because I think (Yik Yak) was being used well by students, and this was just another chance for people to say something they’d never say with their name attached. If you’re going to say anything, you should be accountable.”

The board voted 6-1 on whether mandatory sensitivity meetings could help.

The staff editorial reflects the majority opinion of the Editorial Board and is written by the Op/Ed Editor. Columns, cartoons and letters are the opinion of the author/artist and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Spectator as a whole.