Philosophy Chair John Corvino comments on social networking site Yik Yak in Detroit News article


Detroit News, 4/10

By Kim Kozlowski

Centuries ago, Plato posed a question: Would people act immorally if they didn't have to worry about getting caught and could escape repercussions? Modern philosophers answer yes and, as proof, they point to the behavior of college students using Yik Yak a wildly popular social media platform built on anonymous posts.

From yaks with threats of school violence to disruptive comments during lectures to spews of sexism, racism and other offensive speech, Yik Yak has created some problems on campuses in Michigan and across the nation. "Apps like Yik Yak, because of their anonymity, make it remarkably easy for people to behave badly with impunity," said John Corvino, chair of the philosophy department at Wayne State University.

"The fact that they don't typically see the results of their bullying means that their natural sympathy is less likely to kick in. So they post comments sometimes quite nasty and then move on to something else; it's like shooting a bullet in the air with no concern for where it lands."

Read the full story: Yik Yak catches flak from Mich. universities

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