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March 4, 2014 0

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 1

#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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