By Elisabeth Mahase
Over the last 24 hours YikYak has been inundated with posts and comments about Brunel's Feminist Society.
YikYak is an anonymous posting app that allows you to see, interact with and post to others within a 5 mile radius. It also allows users to vote up or down posts, showing the popularity in a similar way to YouTube comments.
Although it is currently unclear what the initial catalyst for this social media outburst was, it nonetheless resulted in a stream of posts about the society, including those who felt excluded.
The feminist society's Facebook states:
'We are a group dedicated to raising awareness about and discussing feminist issues.
"We welcome all people with differing views on issues that they consider to be feminist in nature; and those who aren't sure quite where an issue belongs. Intersectionality is a big part of feminism for us, so if something relates to gender/sex and other things such as sexuality/race/social class please don't hesitate to bring it up with us!"
Some Yakkers are challenging Brunel's Feminist Society , suggesting that they are in fact damaging the reputation of the feminist movement:
However a minority took the opportunity to dismiss the entire feminist movement:
We have contacted the interim chair of the Feminist Society, and are awaiting a response.
UBS Women's Officer Christina Franklin, who is the first to hold this role, had this to say:
"I am proud to call myself a feminist, proud to be associated with the Feminist Society and have even more pride in the Union for finally recognising the desperate need for a Women’s Officer.
"This need could not be more illustrated in the recent abuse subjected towards the Feminist Society. I am excited to work with everyone at Brunel to make the university a safe space for all self-identifying women, and to feel non-threatened by their beliefs.
"I urge those who posted the claims on YikYak to contact me directly regarding their allegations and experiences, so we can work towards creating a positive Feminist Society and a university that unanimously supports, celebrates and campaigns for our women and equal rights."
YikYak has previously been involved in a controversy on campus, the most recent being the slut-shaming of Brunel's Netball team, after they won Club of the year at the 2015 Sports Fed Awards.
Bullying is an issue with apps that allow anonymous posting and this is a problem that most apps of this nature will or have faced. Nevertheless, YikYak's creators are known for attempting to minimise this concern.
After cyber bullying became an ever-increasing event on the app, they used geo-fencing to stop children accessing it at high school.
The app is now banned at almost all high schools in the U.S.A. When speaking to TechCrunch back in May, Tyler Droll - one of the two founders of YikYak - made it clear that the company wants “good growth, not growth at all costs.”
They continue stating that their goal is to build communities with equality: “The quiet kid is judged the same as the most popular kid.”