The makers of a phone app linked to a bomb scare at San Clemente High School earlier this month have blocked areas around most of the country’s high schools and middle schools, finding that children are not ready for the responsibility of anonymity.
Orange County Sheriff’s deputies were monitoring March 6 an increasingly popular social media app called Yik Yak, which allows users to post anonymously, not even requiring email accounts to sign in, when they discovered the bomb threat against San Clemente High in South Orange County.
“It indicated there may be a bomb on campus. We acted accordingly," Lt. Jeff Hallock said at the time.
The school was immediately put on lockdown mode until bomb-sniffing dogs and deputies searched the campus and gave the all-clear.
The incident followed concerns in Illinois that the app was being used to cyber-bully students.
Yik Yak works with the GPS in a phone to set up geographical boundaries where users can post pretty much anything they want. According to a blog in the Huffington Post by local parent Diana Graber, Yik Yak officials contacted a Vermont company called Maponics to help place "geo-fences," or virtual walls, around schools, thus blocking kids from using the app.
Yik Yak co-founder Tyler Droll confirmed the app is no longer available at 85 percent of the country’s middle and high schools.
For the remaining 15 percent, “if kids start using it at a school we have not blocked yet, then the best option is for someone to contact us and we will block it as soon as possible,” Droll told Patch.