"Yik Yak" app developer promises increased security following th - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

"Yik Yak" app developer promises increased security following threats

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CHARLESTON, SC -

It classifies itself as being, "simply anonymous."

Yik Yak is a new app for the smartphone, and it's popularity is growing. The problems surrounding the app, however, are growing as well.

Just last week, in Mobile, Alabama two juveniles were arrested for using the app to threaten to blow up a school. Yik Yak is like an anonymous Twitter that allows users to send messages to other users within a five to ten mile radius.

There have been other reports that the app is being used to bully others.

We tracked down the developer of the app who happens to be a sophomore at the College of Charleston. Will Jamieson said he and another friend developed the app over the winter break and was surprised to see the app was being misused.

"We were actually on the phone with the FBI because we wanted to help solve the problems [in Mobile] that our app created," Jamieson said. "The two kids were arrested because we provided the user location for them."

But, that's all the developers could provide. The names of the users are anonymous even to the developers themselves.  The app is also supposed for those who are 17 years or older, but the two who threatened the school were juveniles.

While there have been no reports of anyone misusing the app in the Lowcountry, we wanted to know what Jamieson and his team are doing to keep your children safe from possibly receiving threatening messages.

"We have the reporting system which is not enough," Jamison said. "With the money we just took on, we are debating hiring a content management team that will actually filter through the yaks before they actually process."

In is terms and conditions on its website, the developers said that users can be held liable for the messages they send.

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