Yik Yak Systematically Downvotes Mentions Of Competitors


You can say anything on Yik Yak, as long as it’s not a competing app’s name. The anonymous app has quietly built a system that downvotes any mentions of several other apps for college kids including Fade, Sneek, and Unseen until no one can see them.

By adding one downvote per minute, Yik Yak makes it look like other anonymous users dislike these posts. But tests in isolation demonstrate that it’s Yik Yak itself suppressing its competitors. And once a post gets five downvotes, it becomes completely invisible.

Yik Yak’s app for posting anonymous little text snippets to people nearby blew up with college students over the last year and has raised $73.5 million. It shouldn’t need these shady tactics.

Calls, texts, and emails to Yik Yak received no reply before press time.

[Update 5pm PST: Yik Yak’s co-founders Brooks Buffington and Tyler Droll have responded to me via…

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