Department of Education

Feminist Groups Say Using Social-Media App Yik Yak Without Seeing Mean Words Is a Civil Right

Someone somewhere on the Internet is mean! Call in the federal government!

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Yik Yak/Facebook

Of all the bullshit, pro-censorship activism swirling about college campuses these days, this might take the proverbial cake: a group of 72 activist groups—including major women's-rights players like the Feminist Majority Foundation and the National Organization for Women and other big-name orgs, such as the Human Rights Campaign and the National LGBTQ Task Force—are asking the U.S. Department of Education to demand more monitoring and regulation of the popular app Yik Yak by college administrators. 

Launched in 2013, Yik Yak is essentially anonymous Twitter with a geographical twist, allowing students to covertly post and see short comments from everyone within in a certain radius. Sometimes students complain about shared experiences, like classes or professors. Sometimes they offer one another support. Sometimes they post groan-worthy witticisms like the one to the right. And sometimes they make hateful, sexist, racist, and bigoted comments. In other words, it mirrors the diversity of speech that exists on the Internet and in the world at large.

Unlike real-world speech, however—which can be unpredictable and unavoidable—there's a very simple way to avoid exposure to content on Yik Yak: do not use the app. Do not download it. Do not log on. Problem solved! 

Yik Yak is not something like Facebook, which has become a widespread norm for keeping in touch with family and old friends; nor is it like Twitter, where use might behoove young adults professionally. It is merely a live-stream of verbalized thoughts posted by anonymous individuals. It's hard to imagine that ignoring this mind-diarrhea would impact a student's life in any negative way. 

Yet in their letter to the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the activist groups claim that the mere existence of disparaging comments about race, sex, etc., on Yik Yak amount to violations of students' civil rights. Specifically, they allege that colleges ignoring the app are guilty of violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prevents race or ethnicity-based discrimination from institutions receiving federal funding, and Title IX, which states that "no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." 

The obvious rebuttal here seems to be that Yik Yak is in no way affiliated with or sanctioned by colleges. It's an app that students can access on their personal phones, in their personal time, to view content that may or may not be posted by fellow students. Arguing that colleges are somehow responsible for monitoring and filtering this content makes no more sense than holding them responsible for all the content on local radio stations or anything any person in the vicinity posts to a personal blog. It's an unworkable and absurd standard. 

However, our letter writers care not for logistics or reality.

The groups say that by "allowing" students to engage in free speech in a private, non-school-affiliated medium, campus administrators are violating federal law and students' civil rights. Never mind that students have First Amendment rights, too—I mean, come on, that was our first amendment. Aren't we over that one yet?

The letter goes on to mention some Yik Yak users threatening physical violence against specific individuals. If determined to be true threats, these sorts of things are not protected by the First Amendment, and they should be investigated by law enforcement. But by no accounts is anything resembling a majority (or even a significant minority) of content on Yik Yak of this variety. And the fact that "studies show that individuals are more likely to act injuriously when they believe they are acting anonymously," as the letter states, is irrelevant. There is no non-anonymity clause to the first amendment. 

Yet as we're seeing again and again with the Office for Civil Rights, there is little limit to the expectations federal agents have for colleges to protect students from any smidgen of uncomfortable experience. With pressure from powerful activists, OCR could actually make anonymous social-media platforms like Yik Yak its next target—after all, the office has already broadened the definition of sexual harassment to include not just persistent or severe conduct but any comment related to sex or sexuality that makes anyone on campus uncomfortable. Yik Yak is really just the latest reincarnation of message-boards like CollegeConfidential.com; cut off the Yak's head and something else will only spring up to take its place. But hoping the OCR will acknowledge that—or anything else resembling a relationship to the real world—is seeming like an increasingly tall order. 

Welcome to 2015, where curtailing First Amendment freedoms is seen as no big deal but expecting students to forgo using a social media platform that offends them is considered an unconscionable violation of their civil rights. 

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  1. Bitch, please!

  2. OT: George Will surprisingly on the mark re: “the criminalization of everything”, and the comments are surprisingly positive.

    If I hadn’t abandoned hope already, this might give me hope…

    1. George Will is pretty libertarian-leaning, from what I’ve read of him. The comments on his articles from Post readers often go something like “I can’t believe I’m agreeing with Will here, but he actually makes a good point…” Apparently they just assume he is a standard-issue Republican, and dislike him accordingly. But I give them credit for being open-minded enough to give him credit, for anything.

      1. He’s veered significantly more libertarian in the last few years. He used to be a pretty standard-issue republican and people are probably just remembering that.

        1. Next thing you know he will be sporting a pair of 501s.

  3. ENB: You might want to capitalize the word “women” when referring to NOW by its full name.

    1. Are you mansplaining capitalization?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

      1. Tonio cant mansplain. She’s just a woman.

          1. Was I wrong about your genitalia?

            1. I bet THAT’S a sentence you say a lot.

              1. Well you never want to be wrong about genitalia

            2. Psst, Tonio’s got the ghey. But he’s one of the good ones.

              1. So he’s a woman – got it

              2. NTTAWWT

            3. Was I wrong about your genitalia?

              We’re talking about gender here, which is a social construct.

              And being a social construct, that means we get to decide Tonio’s gender, not Tonio.

        1. Is that sarcasm? Are you being sarcastic? Are you even allowed to be sarcastic when interacting with commenters? Because the going policy among editors and contributors here seems to be treating commenters as totally and always super serial.

          1. I dunno – Rico PWND me pretty good (and sarcastic) last with with some Alt Text (“Just for you….” – text read Bite Me – it was epic!)

            So – ENB’s in the club! Yay!

            1. I’d say at least a majority of the regular Reason writers get the comments section. I.e. they don’t take much of what is said here literally.

              1. I WAS BEING SUPER SERIAL THANKS

                1. Well, you never know. Some people get odd ideas in their heads about the motivations and intentions of Reason writers.

                  I do have a tendency to take the wrong things seriously.

          2. No, “MICROAGGRESSION” is a short protein sequence that shows some homology to a GNAT family N-acetyltransferase [Labrenzia aggregata] according to BLAST (yes, I checked!)

    2. National
      Association of
      Gals

  4. Some people take fighting against reality way too far. I mean, they’re always going to lose, but somehow, they think they can win. It’s very odd.

    1. If I wasn’t so concerned they might succeed with the current bunch of Jaconbins in the DoJ, I would encourage this sort of windmill tilting.

      1. Oh, quit overreacting. It’s not like DOJ prosecutors go around subpoenaing websites because of some silly off-color comments or anything.

        Oh, wait…

      2. No, you should encourage it. These people are their own worst enemy, because they are humorless mongoloids who have no comprehension of the meaning of “go too far”. The more they overreach, the more they annoy the average person who usually just ignores them (and in doing so, ignores the shit they are trying to do). Let them bring themselves to more people’s attention with shit like this. It will do them absolutely no favors.

        1. the more they annoy the average person who usually just ignores them

          I’m not worried about average people.

          I’m worried about people with subpoenas, and the guns to make them stick.

          1. The more they overreach, the better as well. People tend to push back against the government when it goes way too far as opposed to slowly and constantly going too far in the raising-the-temperature-on-the-frog sense.

            1. See: the current backlash against police violence.

              1. DING DING DING DING DING!!!!

        2. The more they overreach, the more they annoy the average person who usually just ignores them (and in doing so, ignores the shit they are trying to do).

          I’d like to think that, but I’m afraid the average person is too easily distracted and will be off to the next shiny object within 5 seconds and forget all about what these little wannabe tyrants are up to. Plus, it’s not the average person you need to worry about, it’s the goons at the various federal regulatory agencies who are of like minds with these mouth breathing mongoloids and take this PC horseshit seriously that you have to worry about.

          And like I said, the average person is too easily distracted to care for long enough to actually push back against this shit.

          1. the goons at the various federal regulatory agencies who are of like minds with these mouth breathing mongoloids and take this PC horseshit seriously that you have to worry about

            Well, 5 November is next week…

            1. +1 powder keg

        3. Tough call. Give them enough rope in the hopes they’ll hang themselves (Epi), but also risk them winning in which case the system collapses and we go through a period of rebuilding in which whiners and collectivists will not have a high survival rate. Or, hope the system can be reformed (RC) putting off the inevitable for a few more decades.

          1. Better to speed it up than try to hold it off. The train is arollin’, standing in front of it is not the best idea.

  5. Specifically, they allege that colleges ignoring the app are guilty of violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act

    Can there be any doubt as to what an atrocious law the Civil Rights Act really is? In a another 50 years, who knows what nebulous legal interpretation of this law will take shape, but I’d wager it’s not going to be good. So far, it’s basically served as the foundation that our Victimized Overlords are building their empire upon.

    1. It’s like the Commerce Clause, only for people!

    1. So, does something like the Butters service actually exist? If not, somebody should take advantage of this business opportunity and part these fragile souls from their money.

      Safe Space, inc

      1. Only problem is, who the fuck would actually want that job?

        1. Messicans?

        2. An SJW with shitloads of college debt?

  6. However, our letter writers care not for logistics or reality.

    Of course not. All that matters is how they feel.

  7. Jeezus, am I glad I’m not in college anymore. Fuckin-a.

    1. I recently started teaching as an adjunct off site; the crap that comes out of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion is amazing. And incredibly wasteful. It’s no wonder college costs so much.

  8. “nor is it like Twitter, where use might behoove young adults professionally.”

    So, exposing one’s ignorance to the world is important for job prospects these days?

    1. Absolutely.
      Remember, if you can’t fool all of the people all of the time, start breeding them for stupidity.
      The program is clearly well underway.

    2. You can tell you are dealing with academics, because they don’t know what words mean.

      Twitter, where use might behoove young adults professionally.

      Probably meant “benefit”. “Behoove” in that phrase is just gibberish.

      1. That line was written by Elizabeth, who as far as I know is a journalist for reason and not an academic. Additionally, there is nothing wrong with using “behoove” there. One of its meanings is “it is appropriate or suitable; it befits”; that works just fine here.

        If you’re going to constantly try and gotcha the writers, be better at it.

        1. Well, I wasn’t thinking I was gotcha-ing a writer. The sentence was so awkward I didn’t think she wrote it herself.

          I will say that you are technically correct, that it is possible to use “behoove” as a synonym for “benefit”, but in current usage doing so is either archaic or is an attempt to use an uncommon word where a common word will suffice just fine, and is thus poor writing style.

          For example, your definition:

          Twitter, where use might befit young adults professionally. Huh?

          or

          Twitter, where use might is appropriate or suitable for young adults professionally.

          Also awkward as hell.

          Why do that, when my proposed sentence:

          Twitter, where use might benefit young adults professionally.

          is both clearer and more accurate.

          1. Twitter, where use might is appropriate or suitable for young adults professionally.

            Also awkward as hell.

            Not so much if you use the right form of the verb:

            “Twitter, where use might be appropriate or suitable for young adults professionally.”

            1. Well, sure, yeah, if you expect my persnickety posts about editing and word choice to be well edited and use the right words. Geez.

          2. either archaic or is an attempt to use an uncommon word where a common word will suffice just fine

            Suffice just fine – redundant. Way to go, language police.

            I entertain myself by trying to find archaic words when discussing “techy” things like Twitter. It can be a subtle reminder that there is little new under the sun. Twitter isn’t tech – the network carrying the verbiage is the tech.

        2. Are you subbing for Nikki?

          I couldn’t. While I am a bit worst, I just cannot get into the Editing and Style Wars. I flunked Oxford Comma Close Combat. 🙁

          1. I’m not even qualified to hold Nikki’s jockstrap.

            It was just an awkward sentence that struck me wrong. Pardon me. Sounds like it would behoove me to just shut the fuck up unless I’m pretty sure Epi’s sandpapered nerves can take it.

            1. I’m on your side, RC. For whatever that’s worth. Epi has been pretty bitchy lately.

            2. I was referring to Epi, RC.

              1. No prob.

                We were both being bitchy. Sauce for the goose, and all that.

              2. I actually made a living for a couple of years in Oxford Comma Close Combat.

                Seriously. As a wee tad of a new lawyer, I fetched up in the bond department of a big firm. We made our living editing prospectuses and whatnot.

                When issuer counsel and underwriter counsel would get to the printers for final copy editing, we would pick sides. One side would try to get rid of all the Oxford commas, and the other would try to put them back in. Hey, it was one way to keep the meter running.

          2. Wait, subbing for Nikki? Is Nikki a dom? I didn’t know. That explains so much.

        3. If editing, I’d side with Dean, here, although not gibberish. Behoove is awkward in the sentence, because it is almost always now used in the (clich??) sense of indicating responsibility or obligation. My eye also caught on the word. But looking up the etymology I see that it looks like appropriate, befits was the original meaning. The meaning of the word has drift a little.

          1. Yeah, “gibberish” was too harsh. “Awkward” is better.

            1. Again, the more awkward one can make social media sound, the better.

            2. I’d place it somewhere between “pretentious” and “uneducated”.

      2. I think the more important concern with that statement is the valuation of Twitter as useful for anything.

        1. Unless you are in some kind of media/commenting position, I can’t imagine when tweetering would be beneficial to you professionally.

          1. It’s not all bad for tech-focused folks, though it’s often more as advertisement for lengthier content formats (blogs, articles, podcasts).

            1. We certainly need to open ourselves to more advertising.

    3. I was wondering whether that shouldn’t be a reference to LinkedIn instead.

  9. Don’t worry, I’m sure they’ll stop with Yik Yak:

    The letter that the 72 advocacy groups sent the Education Department on Tuesday mentions several other social-media applications, such as 4chan,an online bulletin board, and BurnBook, a forum for school-based commentary, as vehicles for anonymous harassment.

    Oh.

    1. Kafka comes to life.

      1. You can say that again.

    2. Kafka comes to life.

    3. The internet is a vehicle for anonymous harassment. So is the mail. So is knocking on people’s doors and running away. Better ban it all.

  10. Groan-worthy? More like, hilarious-worthy.

    I am going to report ENB to the Department of the Internet so that she will be forced to attain a sense of humor similar to mine.

    Failure to incorporate my sensibilities will be met with severe repercussions, such as reading Hillary Clinton’s emails, or even worse, a carrot to the back of the head.

  11. The social justice types seem to universally hate this app. The ones on my campus bitched about it nonstop last year during the Ferguson riots because people would post heinous things like “I don’t think the looting and destruction of property is going to make anyone better off.” Thankfully they knew they couldn’t really do anything about shutting this speech up so they just got off the app altogether.

    I didn’t really read this article so maybe it did mention this but the app has a couple of ways to get rid of things you don’t want to see. If a post gets a net of 5 downvotes, it’s gone. You can also hide posts from a specific user. Really though the app is quite harmless. Most posts about politics get voted off, and it turns into a weird, desperate hook up app late at night.

    1. I hadn’t paid it any mind until this story, and now I’ve gone and signed up. Time to start shitposting.

  12. I can’t imagine why anyone would be on any social network to begin with.

    1. Yeah, but you also can’t imagine why anyone would brush their teeth or shower regularly.

      1. It’s such a waste of water!

  13. They could just hire Butters to edit their social media feeds for them. Just hope that mean old Reality doesn’t find a way to get into their “safe space”.

    South Park has been epic this season, but it seems these clowns are too far beyond parody to be saved. Apparently using the term “politically correct” is no longer politically correct.

    1. How better to thwart your critics than to ban the words that would negatively describe you?

    2. At least Warren has got those pesky Jews all figured out.

    3. Interestingly enough, while the university’s Inclusive Excellence Center has labeled several common-use adjectives harmful, the man running the campaign, Warren Scherer, the director of the university’s Inclusive Excellence Center, has taken to Twitter to express his displeasure with Republican presidential candidates in a non-inclusive manner.

      Scherer tweeted “fuck every fiber of your being” to Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and also accused him of “pandering to Republican Jews.” Scherer, who identifies himself as an UWM employee on his twitter profile, also accused presidential candidate Rand Paul of courting “rich Jews.”

      These people…

      1. You know who else had a Germanic last name and didn’t trust Jews?

        1. Marge Schott?

        2. Charles Lindbergh?

        3. John Rocker?

      2. Inclusive Excellence Center?

        *facepalm*

        1. You wonder why tuition rates are skyrocketing? I’m guessing the increase in the number of university employees who staff shit like this correlates perfectly with the increase in tuition rates over the last few decades.

          1. I’ve been teaching as an adjunct for a university and fortunately it is off site of the main campus; the crap that comes out of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion is unbelievable, and such a waste. Of course it is the compulsion to comply with Title VI, IX, and to continually prove to the government how proactive they are under the threat of lost funding that promotes a lot of this.

      3. Inclusive Excellence Center Hate/Bias Incident Report

        If you experienced a written slur or discovered graffiti, do not erase the text. The police will need to see it.
        If you have a camera or cell phone camera, take a picture of the evidence, any physical injuries sustained, license plate, or anything else relevant.
        If the incident was verbal, please write down exactly what was said to the best of your recollection.
        Retain any contact information you may have received from possible witnesses.
        Speed and accuracy are critical, so please act immediately!

        1. Can you all do me a solid and join me in using the Incident Report page to report Warren Scherer’s anti-Semitic conspiracy theorizing while under the banner of UWM?

          Hoist and petards and all that…

      4. I guess this Sherer asshole is perfectly fine with macro-aggressions as long you’re aggressing against EVUL RETHUGLIKKKANZ. I’m betting he’s got a very punchable face.

      5. also accused presidential candidate Rand Paul of courting “rich Jews.”

        I wish.

  14. Remember Secret? People wrote columns denouncing it while admitting that they had never used it but had just heard nth-hand anecdotes about it. I’ll bet those people are kicking themselves for not having thought of this.

  15. the mere existence of disparaging comments about race, sex, etc., on Yik Yak amount to violations of students’ civil rights.

    So, arguing from a false premise.

    Can’t we quit right here?

  16. Feminism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be criticizing a woman.

    1. Feminism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be criticizing a woman with the correct political views.

      1. That works better. These SJW assholes don’t care about criticizing women who disagree with them, just the ones that are in their special PC club.

      2. I’m sorry to niggle, but did you mean criticizing with the correct political views, or that the woman being criticized has the correct political views? Though I suspect the latter, try as I might I just cannot tell from your statement.

        And just what are the “correct” political views? And who gets to decide what views are “correct?”

        I’m gong a bit out on a limb here, but I am willing to bet that whomever can claim the most victim status [past, present, or anticipated future] gets to decide on that, right?

        1. I’m sorry to niggle,

          If you didn’t clear it with Epi first, you should be sorry. 😉

          I followed the usual convention of having a phrase modify the immediately preceding word. Could have been clearer: “a woman who has the correct, etc.”

          And just what are the “correct” political views?

          Why, those deemed so by the feminists, of course.

          1. Niggle?

            That is straight up racist, yo!

            1. Of course the word means a slight but persistent annoyance, as in a trifling complaint.

              One who niggles is a niggler.

              It is Scandinavian in origin, Nowegian “niga” to fiddle or trifle with something.

              Of course I’m fishing for unreasonable paranoid repression, in response to a trigger, or would it be micro-aggression to say I niggled someone?

  17. Are we suggesting that because Facebook and Twitter are ubiquitous that they are civil rights of any sort? If I had access to social media I would publicly scoff at this notion.

  18. I suggest that a college take them at their word, and block all access to social media via the college’s internet infrastructure.

    See how that plays.

  19. Yikety Yak, Don’t Talk Smack

      1. I think my headline is better.

        1. It is, that is what makes boo-worthy. It is commendable.

  20. No, anti-free speech views are just an anomaly with a few scattered students on select campuses.

    a group of 72 activist groups?including major women’s-rights players like the Feminist Majority Foundation and the National Organization for Women and other big-name orgs, such as the Human Rights Campaign and the National LGBTQ Task Force?are asking the U.S. Department of Education to demand more monitoring and regulation of the popular app Yik Yak by college administrators.

  21. you had me at “mind diarrhea”.

  22. Dammit, Elizabeth! If they don’t know who the anonymous harassers are, how are they supposed to be able to harass them?

  23. OT: Iowa creating special division in public defender’s office to focus on wrongful convictions.

    Most of this goes back to the scandal in the FBI’s hair analysis lab.

    1. You need a special division of the prosecutor’s office to really make any headway.

      1. Exactly. The cynic in me says that putting it in the PD office is a way to divert scarce funds away from actual public defenders.

  24. Someone, somewhere, is being a fucking twit.

    1. You know, you can address me directly.

      1. Wow, I know – RUDE MUCH, JW?

        *offers solace to Crusty*

        1. Almanian, tell Crusty that I’m still not speaking or referring to him directly.

          1. Well that’s the point isn’t it? HIS FACE IS UP THERE!1111!!

  25. It would be nice if we could just return to moralizing conservatives burning books they thought contained naughty passages.

    Is it just me or does progressive moralizing scare me more than the old conservative moralizing? Is it because progressive moralizing is mostly political in nature and therefore it’s easier to imagine sharply dressed agents of the government showing up at my door in a staff car if I get on the wrong side of an issue?

    1. Conservative moralizing sought to change our behavior. Progressive moralizing seeks to change your nature. The later is much more terrifying.

      1. That too. Some conservatives might want to put you in jail for making or owning pornography or something like that. Which is bad. But not as bad as pretty much literal punishment of thoughtcrime.

      2. Conservative moralizing sought to change our behavior. Progressive moralizing seeks to change your nature.

        It’s all about control. Nothing else.

        1. Bingo. Censorship is always about granting certain people the “right” to proof-by-assertion. The underlying assumption is that some people, purely by virtue of who they are, deserve to have the last word on whatever topics they consider important.

      3. Conservative moralizing sought to change our behavior. Progressive moralizing seeks to change your nature.

        It’s all about control. Nothing else.

    2. Now its 1984
      Knock, knock at your front door
      It’s the suede-denim secret police
      They have come for your uncool niece

    3. What scares you probably is just you.

      I’m more scared of the progressive moralizing because that is what threatens speech right now. Except for some Christians burning Harry Potter or something and the ongoing war on pornography, I don’t remember a time when conservatives seemed like a big threat to free speech.

      1. Maybe not a major threat to free speech, but certainly a threat to anyone who wanted to self-medicate. The 90’s lock ’em all up politics wasn’t just Democrats.

        1. I was certainly glad to see progressive democrats get on board with that. Smoking cigarettes is so much worse than shooting heroin.

        2. And don’t get me started on trans fats.

          1. I thought you were hooked already.

            Dude, I’ll give you first trans-fattie for free.

            1. But trans fatties are so confusing for John!

        3. Of course. They are both big threats to liberty. Often in full agreement with each other.

      2. *** I don’t remember a time when conservatives seemed like a big threat to free speech.***

        Lenny Bruce on line one, would like to have a word….

        1. I didn’t say there wasn’t a time. I don’t remember a time when Lenny Bruce was alive. Or any time that was before my birth.

          Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I’m talking about in my lifetime, which is somewhat less than 40 years.

    4. You are 100% correct. Burning/banning books was and is laughable. It is a pathetic attempt at control.

      Progressive moralizing has actual affect, has already cost people their jobs, and if the progressive moralists have their way some form of a “re-education” camp is not difficult to fathom.

      Progressive moralizing combined with what Obamacare can become is pretty scary.

      1. some form of a “re-education” camp is not difficult to fathom.

        See, also, “college or university”.

      2. There really isn’t much difference. If you compare the progressives of the early 20th century to the mid-20th century conservatives, there’s a good bit of overlap in terms of methods. They’re both getting their goosestep on without using the ovens too much.

        Someone, somewhere…

        1. You know who else got their goosestep on before using the ovens?

      3. You are 100% correct. Burning/banning books was and is laughable. It is a pathetic attempt at control.

        Progressive moralizing has actual affect, has already cost people their jobs, and if the progressive moralists have their way some form of a “re-education” camp is not difficult to fathom.

        Wait, wait. I’m against the new Progressive moralizing as much as anybody else here, but let’s not whitewash history. You can’t say “Progressive moralizing has actual affect, has already cost people their jobs” as if nobody every lost their job for being an atheist, or for being gay, or for having a sexual relationship with someone they were not married to, in more conservative times. And of course we don’t have to go very far back in history to find times where people would lose their lives, not their jobs, for those and lesser things.

        1. This is 100% true. However, I feel that B for Bendetta should be remade to take place on a college campus.

      4. Wasn’t the Colorado cake baker and his staff mandated to attend sensitivity training, or else?

  26. “Feminist Groups Say Using Social-Media App Yik Yak Without Seeing Mean Words Is a Civil Right”

    I say feminist groups are a collection of dried-up twats.
    Is that mean enough to get their (collective) goat?

    1. You have committed a microaggression. Please wait by your front door, as the protests against you will begin soon. Thank you for your time, and may Gaia bless you.

  27. “[The Usual Suspects] are asking the U.S. Department of Education to demand more monitoring and regulation of the popular app Yik Yak by college administrators.

    I’m glad ENB helpfully points out that College Administrators have no actual regulatory jurisdiction

    I think there is probably more that could be said along the lines of “Government isn’t (and shouldn’t ever be) in the Business of Defending the Boundaries of College-Kids’ (or anyone’s) Bubble-Worlds”

    These stories repeat themselves endlessly, and griping about their phenomenal details of each individual instance doesn’t really seem to be making the case for why Free Speech is so valuable, and why opposition to it by the Offended Brigades is so pernicious

    As noted by the previous piece by Robby = the current crop of college-kids seem to think Free Speech ranks somewhere below whale-shit. And I’m not sure we can rely on maturity alone to eventually change their minds.

    1. When you grow up reading Eric Posner articles…

  28. They’ll bitch and the app will cave and make things nicer. In a year or two it’ll fold completely because they’ve alienated everyone who made them successful in the first place. It’s the new natural order of things.

  29. Karma police
    Arrest this man
    He talks in maths
    He buzzes like a fridge
    He’s like a detuned radio

    Karma police
    Arrest this girl
    Her Hitler hairdo
    Is makin’ me feel I’ll
    And we have crashed her party

    This is what you get
    This is what you get
    This is what you get
    When you mess with us

    1. +1 paranoid android

    2. Goddamn, Radiohead really sucks. I’m going back to Motorhead.

  30. Get Butters on the case.

  31. there’s a very simple way to avoid exposure to content on Yik Yak: do not use the app. Do not download it. Do not log on. Problem solved!

    “If you don’t like drugs, don’t use them.”
    “If you don’t like guns, don’t own one.”
    “If you don’t like abortions, don’t have one.”

    1. If you don’t like guns, don’t get shot with one. If you don’t like abortions, don’t get aborted.

  32. Ugh. Totally ridiculous. College students are legally adult US citizens, and college is a service they are paying for, not a job or a military conscription. They have every legal right to spend their free time doing whatever they want, even if they are physically present on campus. This is like saying that Starbucks is violating someone’s civil rights if a customer makes an offensive comment from a laptop in one of Starbuck’s stores.

    1. This is like saying that Starbucks is violating someone’s civil rights if a customer makes an offensive comment from a laptop in one of Starbuck’s stores.

      That lies right at the intersection of Net Neutrality and Social (Media) Justice Warrioring Give it time.

  33. Well, this is getting impressive fast. It illustrates the totalitarian implications of egalitarianism (no intrinsic stopping point but complete sameness), and the potential to abuse law in its name. “Badge of inferiority”, right.

    By the way, “education”, is the new “commerce”, and every measure is “necessary and proper”. Go, figure out what “substantially affects” education. Try aggregated micro aggressions. Feminists are remarkable.

  34. It would appear that this group did not watch last week’s South Park. Or did, but didn’t get it.

  35. I worry about young people. You’re supposed to rebel against authority figures, not demand more authority from them!

    1. It’s stoicism. And they demand authority over others.

      1. Last time I checked, one of they key principles of Stoic philosophy was that nothing that happens to you can actually make you feel a particular way; only your choice in how to respond can do that.

  36. Here is something I do not get.

    How can student action constitute unlawful discrimination by the university? Students are customers, not employees, of the university in that capacity.

    1. This is about positive rights. Consider Brown v. Board of Education. Universities were supposed to provide black students with (friendly) white students, as one of the requisites of education. Now universities have to provide women with (friendly) men.

  37. For the sake of argument, let’s say the 1st amendment isn’t an issue, since technically universities aren’t “the government” and expelling students doesn’t count as a criminal punishment. Ok, fine, that OKs blocking Yak from university computers but still leaves the issue of smart phones.

    Namely, the university can legally punish students for making Yak posts on campus since they did it on school property; but won’t be able to do it without getting Yak to turn over the data. And since universities aren’t “the government”, good luck convincing a judge to issue a supeana.

    2) Ok, let’s say you somehow manage to convince a judge to over info turned over on campuses. You now have to prove that the lat long coordinates are accurate. So what about people on the edge of campuses or the street across. If the satellite is off that day, the calculation would be off a few meters. So who gets the burden of proof, the poster or the college.

    3) The software makers can just add extra code in there so that if the post took place inside a geo-fenced area, the database would save it as being slightly outside. Perfectly legal, since there’s no legal requirement to save lat lon locations for posts. So, if the app makers want to get around the ban, it would be incredibly easy.

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