Anonymous Mobile Bullying

Anonymous Mobile Bullying

Anonymous Mobile Bullying

There are at least two new apps available for mobile devices that are causing havoc in schools. These apps use GPS to deliver messages anonymously to others in close proximity and are being used by kids as a new way to bully others.

Yik Yak, originally intended for use on college campuses, can be blocked for a geographic region by request to the developers, as some schools have done. The app can be blocked from being downloaded via school wifi through firewall settings, but little can be done to stop the download over the cellular plan or at the students’ homes. Requests to block a school can be made here.

Gaggle, on the other hand, does not have a method of being blocked and has also taken the name of a legitimate online learning service that has been operating for 15 years and is used by students and teachers to keep abreast of homework and due dates. The bullying app with this name can be blocked on the school wifi, but there is no control over what the student does via their cellular data service.

This is the icon for bad Gaggle, the localized messaging service:

This is the icon for good Gaggle, the online learning service:

The best thing you can do is educate students and parents to the dangers of applications like this. You can read more at the following links: Houston Chronicle and Boston.com.

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