The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

FADE CEO speaks out about #Yakgate

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One app claims to let you “share your thoughts,” as long as the posts don’t mention their competitors.

Yik Yak has added a one downvote per minute feature to any posts that contain the name of competitor apps, according to techcrunch. com.

This includes  FADE, the anonymous photo sharing app.

Once a post gets five downvotes, it will disappear.

“It’s really a policy that’s up to them,” sophomore James King said.

“But I think it will affect their reputation more than anything so it might not make sense for them to do it,” he said.

Yik Yak makes it look like anonymous users are downvoting when really it’s a bot, according to the website.

“It really doesn’t make any sense that an app devoted to anonymous freedom of expression would have a policy like this,” first-year Michael Cleary said. “It doesn’t even seem right that they can do that.”

The competitor app, FADE, seems to have noticed.

The FADE app now includes the company’s new “#freethefade” hashtag.

This hashtag is posted alongside various images of the Yik Yak mascot’s head photoshopped on to the body of Kim Jong-un.

FADE allows users to share photos “with college students around you – temporarily,” according to the app’s website.

“There are enough people who want to write the word FADE [on Yik Yak] that students started to notice,” FADE CEO David Stewart said to Gigaom.com.

“Yik Yak is designed to give everyone on the app a voice and be part of a community without prerequisites, status, prior relationships or connections,” a Yik Yak representative said.

“In order to ensure users have a good experience on the app, we’ve put in a number of anti-spam and protective measures in place,” they said.

The representative said that the “downvoting/upvoting feature” is a part of their “anti-spam tool.”

“The app monitors conversations and posts, and any negative or harmful behavior will result in the respective user being blocked, or altogether banned from future use,” they said.

Whatever the reason for the bot, it seems to have drawn some attention as is made evident by the numerous posts on twitter under the hashtag #Yakgate.

“Yak Attack! Does #yikyak’s ‘unfiltered feed of news’ block competitors?”

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The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883
FADE CEO speaks out about #Yakgate