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March 4, 2014

Abuse Of Yik Yak App Underscores Need For Personal Accountability

Update: March 10, 2014 – Threats found on Yik Yak resulted in back-to-back evacuations of a high school in Marblehead, Massachusetts, as well as the lockdown of a Decatur, Alabama, Middle School and a San Clemente, California High School, according to the Los Angeles Times. Some of the schools that have been subject to threats on Yik Yak have reportedly blocked students from accessing the app directly through campus Internet networks. At least four Chicago-area high schools warned parents about Yik Yak in the past two weeks, according to the Chicago Tribune, and principals have asked parents to delete the app from their children’s devices.

The abuse of a controversial new app that enables users to communicate with complete anonymity highlights the need for some user identification functions and personal accountability.yikyak

The app, Yik Yak, which promotes itself as being a place “to post anonymously or under an alias – you can become the talk of the town and never get discovered,”  has been reportedly abused by students in Roswell, Georgia; North Kansas City, Missouri; and Mobile, Alabama.

In Roswell, a letter was sent to parents of High School students saying that “this app is allowing students to verbally abuse each other, teachers and staff…”

In North Kansas City, one parent found a hateful post about her daughter as well as teachers and administrators.

And in Mobile, two students under the age of 16 were reportedly arrested for using the app to make terroristic threats. Apparently acting separately, each allegedly used Yik Yak to threatened shootings at local high schools. They were arrested on felony charges.

These incidents emphasize the consequences of a lack of any registration requirements, including age verification, or a cursory online identification.

In his latest book Viral Hate, ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman speaks to this issue, noting that “emboldened by anonymity,” individuals are “freely spewing hateful vitriol on the Internet without worrying about repercussions. Lies, bullying, conspiracy theories, bigoted and racist rants, and calls for violence targeting the most vulnerable circulate openly on the web.”

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September 28, 2012

#AskFarrakhan Town Hall Meeting Features Anti-Jewish Conspiracy Theories

On September 26, Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Far­rakhan held a town hall style meeting in which he promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about supposed Jewish political control in America and Jewish manipulation of the Black community.

When asked by an individual participating in the meeting online if America will “be forced to go to war with Iran,” Farrakhan went into a rant about how presidents who “resist Israeli pressure… do not get away with it.” He continued, “When you don’t vote the way they think you should vote, there’s no such thing as forgiveness. They move to unseat you. Cynthia McKinney, brilliant sister but she was not pro-Zionist, well she’s not in Congress… once you take an opposing position, you have to pay a price.”

He then said that the Monica Lewinsky scandal was somehow a Jewish plot. “Bill Clinton refused to meet with an Israeli Prime Minister. The next thing you heard was Monica Lewinsky and all of those that were involved in scandalizing Bill Clinton, they happened to be Zionists.”

Farrakhan made it clear that he still blames Jews for what he perceives as a fragmented Black community. “No Black artist becomes rich without having a friendship with the Jewish community.” He then noted that in order to keep Black role models away from the NOI, Jews “make the world think I’m an enemy of Jewish people.” However, he credited Kanye West, a well-known rapper, for making it possible for a student group to attend the town hall meeting.

During his remarks, Farrakhan also mentioned an Iranian-government sponsored dinner he attended in New York the previous day on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly opening. This meeting between representatives of various faith-based communities and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad  featured a keynote speech in which Ahmadinejad denounced America’s policies on Iran’s nuclear program and blamed the anti-Islam film, Innocence of Muslims, on Zionists even though that has been clearly proved to be a lie.

When Farrakhan was asked at his town hall meeting “Why is it that you seem to be friends with everyone that America hates such as Castro, Qaddafi and Ahmadinejad?” Farrakhan responded, “Evidently, America’s on the wrong side of history. I’m a friend of those who fight to deliver the masses from oppression…So I’m in good company.” Farrakhan also attended a meeting with Ahmadinejad in 2010.

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