During UCLA shooting lockdown, students flocked to Yik Yak
Peek into a school’s Yik Yak on any devoted day, and you’ll find the best and worst of humanity on full display. The same can be said about UCLA‘s Yik Yak on Wednesday when the reporting of two men being shot on school groundsled to the entire campus being on lockdown for hours. UCLA students took to Yik Yak to detect solace and relay their gripes and anxieties.
“I frankly supposed I was going to die. Scariest feeling of my life, ” wrote one student.
As is usually the case when massive misfortunes made social media, the flood of sentiments expressed on the UCLA Yik Yak ranged from chilling to heartwarming to downright trivial.
Students wrote about exes who came out of concealing only to inquire about their safety. Another student asked if they were wrong for being slightly upset that it took the reporting of a possible mass shooting for people to actually check-in on them. Raw expressions of dread and nervousnes over the day’s events were mixed in with SpongeBobSquarePants memes and objections over final exams, which are scheduled for this week , not being cancelled.
Students began to blast each other for spreading rumors and misinformation on Yik Yak.
The Los Angeles Times reportedthat rumors of multiple shooters and the shooter’s situating rapidly spread on Wednesday afternoon through group texts and social media detonations. One UCLA student, Christos Kampouridis, had a run-in with a Swat squad near the engineering build and frantically sent group text to his friends advising them not to operate near that place. Kampouridis later said he regretted being so quick to come back to social media before knowing more.“It was really stupid in retrospect, ” he told the Times .
Students complained that vague alertings resulted them to jump to worst-case scenarios, such as the 2007 Virginia Techmass shooting.
Students also theorized on the identity of the UCLA shooter. Reactions ranged from serious to snarky to not so well thought out.
Yik Yak’s reputation as a college rumor mill is well documented. The location-based app allows users to post anonymously, and users can upvote, downvote, or reply to individual Yaks. The app has been under scrutiny with schools finding menaces of violence and severe harassment since its viral launch across college campuses in 2013.
On one Yak thread, presuppositions ranged from the shooter being an engineering PhD student who didn’t get award funding to a student with a bad grade.
The Los Angeles Police Department are stillinvestigatingthe shooting, which was ruled to be a murder-suicide, and still has not disclosed the identity of the shooter. According to CNN, classes at UCLA were cancelledon Wednesday and are expected to resume Thursday. The one exception is UCLA’s School of Engineering, where the shooting passed. Class will resume there Monday.
Illustration via Max Fleishman ( Licensed)