ITHACA, N.Y. — Ithaca College officials said they have contacted representatives from the messaging app Yik Yak to try to identify who made physical threats against people at the campus.
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“The Office of Public Safety is actively investigating those specific threatening messages posted on Yik Yak. Public Safety is working with Yik Yak to attempt to identify the person or persons who made those posts, and with any appropriate law enforcement agencies that might have jurisdiction in the investigation,” spokesman David Maley said in an email Friday afternoon.
Yik Yak is a social media app that allows people to anonymously post public comments and photos that can be seen by others.
According to the Facebook page of activist organization People of Color at Ithaca College, known as POC @ IC, threats were made against demonstrators after Wednesday’s protest against President Tom Rochon.
Screenshots of some of the threats are below and have been edited to remove profanity:
According to NBC News, Yik Yak has indicated that it can disclose to police each user’s Internet protocol address, GPS coordinates, details about the phone or tablet a message was sent from, and date and time it was sent.
The app also requires users to enter a phone umber when registering for an account.
Yik Yak spokeswoman Hilary McQuaide told NBC News that the company works with authorities and tells police they must generally provide a subpoena, court order or search warrant to obtain information about its users. In an emergency, the company can opt to provide information to officials without the legalities.
USA Today reports that in Missouri, two men have been charged with making threats against black students at the University of Missouri-Columbia using Yik Yak.
Neither of the men were found on the main campus, but have been taken into custody. At least one of the men has been charged with making a terroristic threat.
At Ithaca College, Maley said a social media team is monitoring online activity and reporting any threats being made to the Office of Public Safety. Officials are following up to investigate the threats and working with other law enforcement agencies as needed.
He said threats can be reported by calling the Office of Public Safety at 607-274-3333.
Mayley said public safety is maintaining a heightened presence and visibility across campus along with local law enforcement from multiple agencies. Specific details of security plans cannot be released, in order not to compromise those plans.
The college has also recruited volunteers to help welcome guests to Cortaca Saturday and to provide directions, monitor the tailgate lot, and serve as ushers on and around the field.
Maley said, “These are serious issues that deserve serious attention.”
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