Re: Yik-Yak

1

"college administrations should permanently ban Yik Yak and any other forum that allows people to post comments anonymously"

I'm sure the bathwater will break that baby's fall.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 6:18 AM
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We have a visiting student from Colgate, who's been following the protests regarding horrifically racist posts on Yik-Yak. Sadly, he seems to think that the posts couldn't possibly be from actual students, although he does seem to think there's something wrong with race relations at Colgate. Thank goodness I didn't have the chance to be such a public mess in high school and college. I was enough of a jerk in person.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 6:19 AM
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1: what's important is that from a technical perspective that is definitely something they could actually do.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 6:25 AM
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Do you guys even read the OP at this point?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 6:27 AM
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Well, I guess it's time to shut down this whole "internet" thing. It had a good run but all the benefits definitely don't outweigh the massive social toll of anonymous commenting.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 6:27 AM
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I can't believe you wore that to work today.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 6:28 AM
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And I think we have an answer to the question of how you do an updated version of "Gaudy Night".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 6:29 AM
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Fortunately, social progress has been so slow, you probably wouldn't need to change much else to get the plot to work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 6:31 AM
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4: we're riffing on your apt response, heebert. Yes, and.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 6:35 AM
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I clicked through and was confronted with the writing of a twenty-something "creative contractor." Is my time worth nothing to you, heebie? Nothing at all?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 6:37 AM
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There's an OP?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 6:40 AM
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He who is not a creative contractor at 20 has no heart. He who is not a soulless corporate cog by 30 has no brain.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 6:43 AM
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The link itself was rather throwaway. All my other links are golden though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 6:55 AM
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You could have colleges or high schools require, as a condition of admission, that their students sign a form agreeing not to engage in anonymous/pseudonymous harassment and to waive any right to protect online anonymity in the event of a campus investigation into the harassment. And require yiknyak to maintain records/respond to subpoenas such that (at least some) addresses or identities of student harassers could be identified through investigation. Not necessarily proposing that and you'd need to think through the legalities pretty carefully but something like that could be a solution that doesn't require shutting down the forum or the Internet completely.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 6:57 AM
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Wouldn't a blanket device ban a la Shirky (peace be upon him) be sufficient here?


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 6:58 AM
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14 is more or less what my daughter's middle school does. Of course, the more technically savvy ones know how to change the proxy settings on their school-issued MacBooks* to evade oversight.

*Have I mentioned that my suburb is rather posh?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:01 AM
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You could have colleges or high schools require, as a condition of admission, that their students sign a form agreeing not to engage in anonymous/pseudonymous harassment and to waive any right to protect online anonymity in the event of a campus investigation into the harassment. And require yiknyak to maintain records/respond to subpoenas such that (at least some) addresses or identities of student harassers could be identified through investigation. Not necessarily proposing that and you'd need to think through the legalities pretty carefully but something like that could be a solution that doesn't require shutting down the forum or the Internet completely

Isn't all of that formally possible under the existing framework, with the possible exception of Yik Yak storing addresses/identities (I've no idea what it takes to sign up). Certainly "anonymous" posters have had their identities legally exposed because of online harassment.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:04 AM
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Or just delete the app from the devices of any student being harassed. If she can't see the harassment, no problem.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:07 AM
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Yikyak is a phone app. The users aren't (or at least, don't have to be) using the university's network at all, so the proxy settings thing is not really relevant. I also don't really know how you would require Yik Yak to keep records; why wouldn't they just say "no", since you're essentially asking them to break their service. I guess you could bring the full weight of the national security state down on them to force them to comply, but see 1. Alternately, you could replace the cell towers on campus with that kind that sniffs all the traffic and logs it, but see 1. In general, see 1.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:08 AM
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18: and while they're at it, couldn't they cover up their fat thighs?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:12 AM
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If the Yik Yak developers wanted to be real dicks about it they could integrate Tor or VPN support.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:12 AM
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I'm looking forward to the eventual The Good Wife episode about this. I mean, there's bound to be an episode at some point, right?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:13 AM
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If not, they'll have to restart "Law and Order".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:14 AM
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20 violates the analogy ban. This is a welfare issue - using this app is causing serious harm to these students. The university has a responsibility to stop them if possible.


Posted by: Aja | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:15 AM
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Facebook stopped being cool once everyone's mom started using it. Just get some people older than 30 to hang out on YikYak, and it will go away.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:15 AM
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The only problem is "Yik Yak" sounds like exactly the fake name that the The Good Wife writers would come up with for this app.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:16 AM
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I know I say this every time it comes up but in our school district (and every other in the state, I assume) the cyberbullying statutes cover threats made by telegraph.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:16 AM
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First, it wasn't an analogy. Second, I don't disagree with 24, but it's not exactly what you said in 18.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:17 AM
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Maybe the college could just remind the students that the NSA is eavesdropping on everything they say.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:21 AM
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I know I say this every time it comes up but in our school district (and every other in the state, I assume) the cyberbullying statutes cover threats made by telegraph.

YOU SUCK STOP WILL ATTACK SOONEST STOP.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:21 AM
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Pretty much does, no? They should delete it themselves but, per the OP, they don't have the willpower. So the university should do it for them.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:21 AM
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Looking at the Yik Yak privacy policy it seems like they do keep records and explicitly note that they will supply those records (of IP address, and geolocation, which is probably close to enough information already, but also device ID, which is definitely enough) in response to legal requests (and actually, also requests that don't meet that standard, but which are in reference to violations of terms of service). So if a university actually wanted to investigate this it seems like Yik Yak would be perfectly well on board with that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:22 AM
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The name Yik Yak makes me think of Max Headroom.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:24 AM
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Surely there's some way to ascertain individual user posts from a particular phone and identify that phone with a particular user. Which I'm sure is evadable but it sure doesn't seem like for ordinary users this should be impossible to trace or require yikyak to make somewhat traceable. Maybe I'm wrong. Even if I am, you could probably solve a lot of the problem through an (enforced) internal-to-the university policy against online anonymous harassment.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:24 AM
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31: no. The burden is on the harassers, not the victim, which is why it's an intractable problem.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:25 AM
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34 before seeing 32.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:26 AM
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Even if I am, you could probably solve a lot of the problem through an (enforced) internal-to-the university policy against online anonymous harassment.

But online harassment is already illegal, because it's harassment. Doesn't mean the university shouldn't have a policy, but I don't see what it solves in and of itself, given that it's only practically enforceable through the law.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:26 AM
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Even if I am, you could probably solve a lot of the problem through an (enforced) internal-to-the university policy against online anonymous harassment.

This seems like a perfectly good and likely sufficient solution.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:27 AM
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Or just a policy against using yikyak on school premises altogether.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:27 AM
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This is an app that does nothing but let people post anonymous comments and rumors? Aren't there a million of those, and somehow this is the popular one right now?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:29 AM
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35: but it isn't a burden: its something the victims want to do but lack the willpower to do for themselves.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:30 AM
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41: of course it is a burden. Suppose the victims actually would like to use the same social forum as their peers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:34 AM
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37 -- not exactly, or not (in the US) except in fairly complicated and difficult to enforce and basically useless except in extreme situations ways. The law isn't likely much help to the Heebie U student constantly being called fat sitting in the classroom, to the point where it has no deterrent effect. An enforced university policy of "we don't tolerate anonymous attacks, and if we find that one of them is coming from our classroom we will do what we can to identify and cause consequences to the perpetrator" might be sufficient deterrence to significantly reduce the problem. Also having a school policy expressly consented to by the students makes a whole lot of other legal steps easier.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:38 AM
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Obviously the university should hire contractors to write their own "anonymous" local chat app, guerrilla market it, the halfway through the semester say "ha ha the authorities have been listening to you the whole time and students X, Y, and Z are now expelled for stalking / harassment / being huge dicks."


Posted by: jake | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:43 AM
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43: I totally get the university having a policy (surely they do already - I've never heard of a serious place without one), but I just meant in the specific Yik Yak situation (or similar anonymous fora), how are you supposed to enforce that policy without the force of law, in the absence of self-identifying stupidity.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:47 AM
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43: But if Yik Yak doesn't cooperate, there's nothing the university can do, short of banning cell phones.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:51 AM
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I tried to use the app from its website and it made me put in a phone number so I gave it a number I had over a decade ago but don't have now and it told me that a message had been sent to that number which I hope is still a landline. Sorry whoever has that number now, if you got a mysterious message from a supposedly anonymous app.

I wonder how popular a truly anonymous application can get. It seems like at some point as a user you'd want some kind of persistence of identity if you're going to do more than just post one-off notes. But this doesn't sound actually anonymous if it's always tied to a particular phone (number). It's just that the identity information is not displayed publicly.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:52 AM
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Simply having a University policy that specified expulsion for harassment along with clarification that using Yik-Yak doesn't exempt anyone would do considerable good. Many harassers will think twice, and the occasional person actually getting busted (by e.g. someone shoulder-surfing in lecture) would encourage the rest. It only really works if the expulsion is publicized, but I see no reason that couldn't be done.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:52 AM
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But this doesn't sound actually anonymous if it's always tied to a particular phone (number). It's just that the identity information is not displayed publicly.

Right. If you look at their privacy policy and terms of service it's not really very anonymous at all, except that they don't ask you for (or display) a username.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 7:54 AM
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Wouldn't twitter support exactly the same thing? Set up a twitter account tied to a disposable email, post with a localizing hashtag.

The half-life of these services is going to get shorter and shorter.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 8:03 AM
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My kids had to sign something like in 14 and 16 in their respective high schools. Although analogies banned, free association hopefully not. From Men Against the Clouds by Burdsall and Emmons:

"Behold the ever-patient Yak,
With four explorers on his back.
He treks for miles across the snows,
Wearing a bracelet in his nose;
And when they stop to have a snack,
It's slices of the useful Yak"

- Katrina Moore


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 8:05 AM
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48: I guess I'm assuming Heebie-U and the U in the link already have a general harassment policy. I'd be amazed if a UK university didn't. Some may not explicitly cover anonymity and/or online harassment, but again we have the difficulty of identifying the harasser without a legal stick to use against the service provider.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 8:12 AM
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If we don't already have a general harassment policy, that is exactly the kind of free, potentially empty change that will be borne of all these public discussions.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 8:22 AM
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||
Campaign donations: ActBlue, or individual candidate (probably Grimes), or something else? I gave earlier to Lessig's campaign to improve campaigning, which doesn't seem to be pulling much weight. I like Warren, but can't see how sending something modest to her helps nationally.
Arguing for nothing is OK too.
|>


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 9:58 AM
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If you don't have anything more urgent in mind, I'd check for close legislature races in your state, and give there. State legislatures are vital, and not enough attention is paid to them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 10:00 AM
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54: I've said this before but it's so exciting to see people so excited about Grimes. Now, even with the new thing about she's polling ahead I know it's still a long shot, but seriously there is hope! And it feels like one of those "never in my life did I think it would happen" things!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 10:02 AM
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Whoa. Grimes is polling ahead now? I was just in Kentucky about a week ago and I thought I heard at the time that she was like 8 points behind or something large-ish like that. Also, the campaign ads on TV were kind of enraging. I don't know how anyone can stand to see them over and over again for months.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 11:04 AM
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The ads here are horrible and the race isn't even close.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 11:07 AM
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Goddamnit, 52 is a post I was planning.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 11:07 AM
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57: May be an outlier, but it's a legit polling organization and I'll take whatever good news I can get.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 11:08 AM
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Polling averages still have her behind by ~4%. There was a recent one (maybe a 2nd?) that had her tied or slightly ahead.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 11:10 AM
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Fucking Coakley needs fucking help fucking ugh.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 11:11 AM
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Republican Senatorial campaign positions in Kentucky and the like: A noun,a verb, and "Harry Barack Obama Reid."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 11:13 AM
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63: Yes! It's so awful. Literally, they just say that Grimes supports Obama while doing the ominous this-is-an-attack ad music, as if it's just universally understood in Kentucky that Obama eats babies or something.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 11:17 AM
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64: This is essentially the same strategy Thom Tillis is using here in NC against Kay Hagan. God I hate that Herman Muster-looking motherfucker.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 11:32 AM
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I think I'd like to be represented in Congress by somebody who looked like Herman Munster, all things else being equal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 11:34 AM
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64: Wait, isn't Kentucky the state that has one of the best/most popular exchanges, which is a thing that's associated with [the O word]-care?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 11:53 AM
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67: Due to careful branding, KYnect isn't connected to Obama care by its users. (Or at least so says national media addressing the situation.)


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 11:56 AM
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67: Kentucky: exchanges yes, death panels no.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 11:56 AM
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67: The campaign ads on the Democratic side make it clear that Kynect is popular but they strenuously avoid associating it with Obama. On the other side, the Republicans can mention that Democrats support Obamacare as a way to attack them.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 11:57 AM
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KYnect good
Obamacare bad

Although McConnell just had a livelier time than he anticipated on a sports radio show, and Incompetent Black Man Care was one of the issues.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 11:58 AM
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Gotcha. It's nice to hear other places also have stupid and depressing politics.

"I'm a big fan of UK," McConnell told Jones. "I'm not a big fan of Obama, and I know you are."

Smooth transition, bro.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 12:01 PM
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I'm a big fan of UK

McConnell hates Obama because Texas Western.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 12:06 PM
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Fucking Coakley needs fucking help fucking ugh.

My cube neighbor was telling me about her debate performance last night. Though this colleague has shown himself to be alarmingly conservative and reactionary, I could still read through his description of the debate to exactly the ways she performed terribly.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 12:31 PM
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Fucking Coakley needs fucking help fucking ugh.

Why do you Massachusetts Democrats keep nominating her? Stop doing that.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 12:36 PM
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75: don't blame me, I voted for one of the two guys who split the "anybody but Coakley" vote.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 12:45 PM
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Why are there debates in general elections? Everyone knows the difference between the parties. The debates should be part of the candidate selection process.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 12:47 PM
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I did vote for Berwick, and I'm pretty sure that I'd prefer Grossman to Coakley.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 12:50 PM
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77: Because we labor under several delusions. That the wit, personal beliefs, and characters of individual candidates matter; that the policies of individual candidates often vary significantly from their parties; that logical arguments are effective ways to change minds or reveal the truth; that power and authority within government is actually divided up the way most people think...


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 1:09 PM
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BG, have you seen Coakley's mental health ad? It seemed like she had microtargeted you. The only thing that could have made it more appealing would be a gratuitous slap at Whole Foods. But that, of course, would have alienated her core demographic.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 1:26 PM
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If Coakley loses, I would find it sort-of hilarious.

The shifts in the polls towards the Republicans over the last few weeks are making the prediction systems that include fundamentals look pretty good.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 1:31 PM
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Speaking of mental health, a mildly amusing anecdote. I recently became aware of an analysis done for a prominent health insurance company where they were looking to identify which of their fully insured employer groups were high utilizers of behavioral health services. Turns out the group at the very top of the list was... their own employees. This was related to me by a credible person who claimed firsthand knowledge, and it had the ring of truth.


Posted by: kermit roosevelt, jr. | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 1:34 PM
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I'll be shocked if this midterm election isn't a Democratic slaughter. I made the mistake of listening to the news yesterday and it makes the world sound like were in the preliminary stage of the Apocalypse.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 2:00 PM
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81: Huh? By "fundamentals" do you just mean "6th year of presidency"? Because the economy just had its best quarter in years, and job growth has been decent every month since Feb. Plus, isn't there supposed to be a rally 'round the flag thing when we start bombing someone?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 2:02 PM
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I mean, I know about the Wang-Silver feud, and maybe that's all you mean. And I agree with 83 that the tenor of news right now is awful, but AFAIK none of the models include "scary disease in Africa" as one of the fundamentals they track.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 2:11 PM
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it makes the world sound like were in the preliminary stage of the Apocalypse

Does it ever. I laughed at the GOP ads that were all "EBOLA! MEXICANS! TERRORISTS! SEAL THE BORDER!", but after talking to some of the administrative and clerical staff among my colleagues, I can see how the ads may be resonating. They're scared witless about Ebola, and earnestly questioning why Obama won't put a cordon sanitaire around Africa, or possibly around America itself. These are people in a deep blue state with college degrees and middle class jobs who get their news from CNN or, at worst, the Boston Herald, not Fox News. I can only imagine what's going on inside the mind of someone working for a pavement contractor in Arkansas.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 2:15 PM
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I can only imagine what's going on inside the mind of someone working for a pavement contractor in Arkansas.

boobs, beer, boobs, Obamacare, aggregate, boobs, ISIS.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 2:18 PM
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84: If you know about the Silver-Wang feud, then you already know the answer. Whatever it is that people put into fundamentals-based models.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 2:23 PM
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The media obsession with ebola, and resulting terror among everyone I know with children under the age of 18, is like something out of a satirical comedy movie. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? There are... hundreds? of infectious diseases that are guaranteed to kill more people in this country AND are much, much more infectious. Never in my life have I heard anyone talk about the pros and cons of wearing masks all day or quarantining entire families or burning down schools that infected children attended.

Is there any way this mass outbreak of 100% nonsensical panic can be harnessed to do something that would assist actual public health? Like to do something about the highly dangerous Chikungunya virus that is actually spreading in Texas this month for the first time ever, seemingly with a 100% chance of becoming permanently endemic, as opposed to the 0% chance of ebola virus? I haven't seen anyone suggest such a possibility. It's nothing but fear for the sake of fear.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 2:35 PM
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89 -- you should write an op-ed. Not joking.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 2:46 PM
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86, 89: It's weird how fear makes people abandon any pretense of morality -- and not even in an actual crisis situation. Don't these people watch movies or TV? The character that immediately abandons morality in the face of fear is always the villain, and not even the cool Darth Vader-like villain, but the shitty villain everybody cheers when they get killed in the second reel.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 2:47 PM
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89 - As I've mentioned, I have a friend in the professoriate with a public-health-in-Africa background and research focus, and her public thinking on Twitter about why Ebola is the scariest thing ever to be a split between not-even-concealed racism and lingering memories of Outbreak/The Hot Zone.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:18 PM
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My irrational terror at the moment is enterovirus D68, which doesn't seem to have penetrated public consciousness, either because blaming Obama is more difficult or, more like, because it's too hard to spell.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:19 PM
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It must be the Outbreak/Hot Zone factor. Somehow in the 1990s the number of infectious diseases whose very names inspire terror in the populace went from two ("the plague" and "smallpox") to three.

Also, the fact that it's a filamentous virus. Most viruses are just shaped like dodecahedrons or lopsided volleyballs. This one is like a snake, or worm. The organisms we have actually evolved to be afraid of from birth (I think).


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:29 PM
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I think 94.1 is right. I have a vague memory from the 90s that Ebola is SUPER SCARY but I don't think I could name three other viruses. Let's see. Chicken pox virus, flu virus, don't think the plague was a virus, maybe meningitis? I may not be the most informed person.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:32 PM
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Meningitis can be caused by a number of things. Most commonly a bacterium similar to the Gonorrhea one, I believe. Or viruses including herpes simplex and West Nile.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:34 PM
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Chikungunya needs to have a scarier name. One that doesn't evoke chickens.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:34 PM
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92 is exactly right. Most infuriating to me is the lack of help deployed by the US. Heartbreaking and maddening. They're running out of PPE, but we just broke ground on a hospital that will be done in 60-90 days that we don't have staff for. I'm going to stop there, because I just get more and more furious.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:35 PM
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Oh right herpes. Can't forget herpes. I didn't know whether Gohorrhea was a virus or not but it sounds bad.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:36 PM
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Yesterday I somehow found myself arguing with a grad student who said that colds and flus are the same virus and people just call it a flu if it feels severe. Actually, he said people call it a flu if they're wimps, but that he gets over a flu within hours because he is so much fitter than all the wimps.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:37 PM
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Wasn't there a Tom Clancy book that featured weaponized/aerosolized Ebola?


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:37 PM
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102

Wasn't there a Tom Clancy book that featured weaponized/aerosolized Ebola?


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:37 PM
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Seriously, wasn't there?


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:38 PM
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101: I was dimly remembering that too. It was weaponized and then released at a... gun show? car show? Something like that that would strike fear into the hearts of Tom Clancy readers.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:39 PM
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OK, so I decree the five popularly-known viruses to be: flu virus, chicken pox virus, herpes, West Nile virus, ebola virus. Of those only Ebola feels like i"giant death panic will kill everyone not in those protective suits." I think I'm a pretty reasonable representative of totally ignorant people on this issue.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:40 PM
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105: The common cold? HIV?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:42 PM
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I've always used "a cold" and "the flu" interchangeably. I guess if you make them separate then the popularly known viruses increase to six, with "cold virus" and "flu virus" separate. I truly am the vox populi here.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:42 PM
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Fuck, you're right, HIV. OK, so there are 7 -- precisely 7 -- commonly known viruses. Cold virus, flu virus, chicken pox virus, herpes virus, West nile virus, HIV, Ebola virus. Ebola is way the scariest sounding of those.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:44 PM
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See, essear, Halford thinks a cold and the flu are the same thing. Your coworker is not so bizarre. Or his bizarre thoughts are not so rare, I mean to say.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:45 PM
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Hanta virus? At least in the SW?


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:48 PM
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108: Measles?s


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:49 PM
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-s


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:49 PM
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Wikipedia classifies the various influenza viruses as among the types of common cold viruses.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:52 PM
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OK, so there are 7 -- precisely 7 -- commonly known viruses. Cold virus, flu virus, chicken pox virus, herpes virus, West nile virus, HIV, Ebola virus. Ebola is way the scariest sounding of those.

Not polio? Human papillomavirus? Epstein-Barr? Yellow fever? Dengue? Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus? Crimea-Congo Hemorraghic Fever? Tobacco mosaic virus? Bacteriophage? Cytomegalovirus? Pandoravirus? Hepatitis A virus? Hepatitis B? Heptatitis C? Hepatitis Delta? Tomato bushy stunt virus? Frog Virus 5? Herpesvirus of Turkeys? Friend retrovirus? PHV-1, which runs rampant in harbor seals? What kind of people am I dealing with here?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:52 PM
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What's SARS?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:52 PM
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114: I was hoping we could stretch that out like that scene in The Jerk. "We just need to know these eight viruses: cold virus, flu virus, chicken pox, herpes, West nile, HIV, ebola, and polio.... and hepatitis. These nine viruses. That's all we need to know. Just cold virus, flu virus, chicken pox, herpes, West nile, HIV, ebola, polio, and hepatitis. And... measles. Right. These ten viruses. That's all we need. And..."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:57 PM
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Lets, see, I honestly didn't know what Hepatitis A and B and C were, just that they were disease-creating somethings. Polio was a virus but was eradicated in maybe 1950 by Dr. Salk so now people have wheelchairs for other reasons. HPV I think we can add to the list but it took me a few seconds to realize that's what Human papillomavirus is. Epstein-Barr I thought was like some kind of birth defect. Measles, I dunno, I hear the word, I don't think "virus." Could be from bacteria or just some something that happens like cancer or whatever. Vox populi!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:59 PM
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SARS coronavirus? MERS coronavirus? Measles? Mumps? Rubella? Kaposi's Sarcoma Herpesvirus? Rift Valley Fever virus? Ross River virus? Semliki Forest virus? O'nyong'nyong virus? Japanese encephalitis virus? St. Louis encephalitis virus? Orchid fleck virus? Rice yellow mottle virus? Potato Virus Y? Buffalopox? Canine distemper virus? Molluscum contagiosum virus? The newly discovered nidovirus believed to cause Wobby Possum Disease? Rabies?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 3:59 PM
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89: Cryptic Ned, if you want to pitch an op-ed, LMK, the LA Times opinion editor gets back to me quickly about stuff. Real name required, though.

116: Our chief weapon is surprise. Surprise and fear.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:00 PM
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102 et seq. Two actually


Posted by: turgid jacobian | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:00 PM
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No way is rabies a virus. You get that from dogs biting you, not being exposed to something flying in the air.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:01 PM
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Measles, mumps and rubella, along with dropsy, are the top entrants in the "old timey diseases that make good kitten names."


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:01 PM
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*Wobbly


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:01 PM
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117: Yeah, vox populi is a really virulent one. Add that to the list.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:02 PM
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I take back rubella. Next to "dropsy", that's a terrible name for a kitten.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:03 PM
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My irrational terror at the moment is enterovirus D68, which doesn't seem to have penetrated public consciousness

What? I've already seen backlash articles about it: calm down, all this other stuff is much more likely to kill your kid!

Ebola is genuinely scary, even if it's not (yet! man) highly contagious. Having a 70-90% chance of hemorrhaging to death sounds pretty bad, even if you're not racist. Not that this justifies the panic, but it does explain it a bit.

Until I'm confronted with the full weight of human suffering, I'm still rooting for all these things to wipe mankind off the planet.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:03 PM
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"Flopsy, Dropsy, and Cottontail" gets surprisingly few Google hits.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:03 PM
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Rabies is deeply scary shit, still.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:04 PM
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Until I'm confronted with the full weight of human suffering

Sunday's NYT had a front-page article about mothers trying to decide whether to pick up and comfort their afflicted children. Good place to start.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:05 PM
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Smallpox.
I was considering getting into a FB comment argument with right-wing firefighter I know from high school when he posted some total bullshit quackery about "the five lies about ebola" which included the fact you should be taking colloidal silver and vitamin D or YOU'LL ALL DIE!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:05 PM
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Things for which there are treatments aren't so scary. If you get Ebloa, they're like, here's some water, later bro.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:06 PM
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Current mortality rate for people receiving treatment not in Africa is 33% (3 died, 6 recovered, 5 still in treatment)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:07 PM
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Good place to start.

Sure, sure, but I had something more like half the people on my block are dead in mind.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:07 PM
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The wife of the guy I drive to work with has Chikungunya. She got hit last Wednesday night with the beginning of the rash and by Thursday afternoon it was full bore. Major joint pain and very high fever - she was down for the count all weekend. The rash had cleared up a bit by Monday, but came back with a vengeance on Tuesday. The stores were out of calamine lotion, but my wife managed to find some and bring it to her. She somewhat functional at this point, but certainly not recovered yet.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:07 PM
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I'm impressed a company got to give a drug to people based on "test tube experiments" that their compound killed Ebola, no human or even animal tests. I got a fucking freezer full of shit that meets that criteria (for other things, not Ebola), let me inject some people!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:08 PM
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There isn't really a treatment for rabies. You have to get a bunch of antibody injections right away or you'll die.

We could do that for just about any infection, but it's actually feasible for rabies, since you are pretty sure you know the moment you may have gotten infected.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:09 PM
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125: On the other hand, I had a plastic toy horse I named Rubella because of its red spots when I was young.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:10 PM
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There is an experimental rabies treatment after you've shown symptoms, I forget the exact protocol but something about induced hypothermia and filtering your blood or something.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:10 PM
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Your chili doesn't count.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:10 PM
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If you get Ebloa, they're like, here's some water, later bro.

Too bad about how your insides are going to dissolve into blood.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:11 PM
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Rabies has a worse mortality rate than ebola, at least if symptoms develop, when the best treatment anyone knows is basically "we're gonna put you in a coma and hope you're better someday."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:11 PM
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I'm pwned but I can add the name: it's called the Milwaukee protocol. Or maybe that's a Ludlum novel.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:12 PM
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To 135.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:13 PM
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Huh, I thought rabies was basically treatable, like you foam at the mouth a bit and then get treatment (and, my folk medical mind says, you might try to bite people, but that's got to be something that just comes from zombie movies).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:14 PM
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You have to get a bunch of antibody injections right away

But CDC says that there are only one or two annual rabies fatalities in the US, so this has proved manageable for pretty much everyone.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:15 PM
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I thought rabies was basically treatable

This is my position, and I'm going to hold the line.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:16 PM
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Yesterday I somehow found myself arguing with a grad student who said that colds and flus are the same virus and people just call it a flu if it feels severe. Actually, he said people call it a flu if they're wimps, but that he gets over a flu within hours because he is so much fitter than all the wimps.

I just cannot get over Essear's stories about people at that institution.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:20 PM
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135: Which one was that? I thought both had been tested in NHPs.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:24 PM
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Essear's stories about people at that institution

See point 3.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:25 PM
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brincidofovir. Ok, they've been in animals and clinic but not for ebola so I guess they have safety data. So more a repurposing thing.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 4:38 PM
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Or just a policy against using yikyak on school premises altogether.

Apparently yik yak is blocked at/near schools. My boyfriend's brother lives about a block from the middle school where he teaches. No yik yak access at his place.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 8:04 PM
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My school is also having a Yik Yak/racism issue, as well as a sexual assault and harassment issue. So nice to be tracking national trends!


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 10- 8-14 9:10 PM
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I dated a girl called Rubella Smythe when I was a kid. She had freckles. This may or may not be true.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 1:34 AM
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151: Apparently it's now an option that the company now gives schools (thought it's hard to see how this would work in major cities or spread out university campuses). From a recent WaPo article.

. These types of posts have become so common, in fact, that the fresh-faced, class-of-'13 founders behind it have drastically scaled back their original strategy: initially launching nationwide, then restricting the app just to college campuses, and finally promising a "geofence" -- or block -- to any school that asks for it. Oddly, the one thing Yik Yak has not done is moderate proactively: Users can "flag" yaks as inappropriate, but it's unclear what happens to those flags and how quickly they're addressed.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 2:51 AM
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92: and lingering memories of Outbreak/The Hot Zone.

Never saw the movie, but for me the original New Yorker article was most definitely the beginning of any awareness of it whatsoever (and stuck with me vividly through the years). Was not sure when it came out, appears to have been 1992. was most definitely the beginning of any awareness of it whatsoever (and stuck with me vividly through the years). Was not sure when it came out, appears to have been 1992.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 5:18 AM
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Oddly, the one thing Yik Yak has not done is moderate proactively

Not odd at all. Everything else is susceptible to a software fix. Moderating requires human input. And there are legal issues if you say "we moderate" and then something slips through and some student is exposed despite your best efforts to the crushing trauma of someone being rude about their jacket.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 5:27 AM
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someone being rude about their jacket.

Yes, ajay, this is exactly what people mean when they say "bullying".


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 5:47 AM
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The legal point is accurate, though. Active moderation removes a whole bunch of shields against libel, copyright infringement and the like.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 6:06 AM
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"When it comes to public speaking, anonymity is not a basic human right because addressing the public entails confrontation."

Silence Dogood is rolling over in her grave


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 6:37 AM
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And it's expensive, to boot, on a level where I doubt if a tiny startup could handle it. How many moderators did MetaFilter have before their recent round of layoffs? I think three full-time employees plus a handful of (paid) part-timers, and that was a website where the user base is not anonymous and is mostly assisting the moderators in good faith. (The moral of the story might be, "Okay, sucks to your ass-mar, don't base your startup around anonymous gossip applications", but it's hardly surprising that Yik Yak hasn't given it a shot. One need only look at the comments section of one's local newspaper to know how hard getting moderation right is.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 6:41 AM
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despite your best efforts to the crushing trauma of someone being rude about their jacket.

Seriously Ajay, what's up with you lately. Quit being an ass.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 6:52 AM
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Maybe all posts should be anonymous except ones that name names.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 6:55 AM
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In my little corner of the Internet there is a person who is both very knowledgeable and an absolute dickhead. They are famous for engaging in discussions where they start out answering a question, usually in a somewhat obtuse way, that ends in them outright insulting the question asker when their answer is not understood. Anyway, said person has just been banned from a number of online forums. The Internet rejoices! Or does it?

It's interesting there is not inconsiderable backlash against this banning. Reading this and the Kathy Sierra (http://seriouspony.com/trouble-at-the-koolaid-point) post recently it's apparent to me how subtle adult bullying is compared to what we (or maybe just I) typically think of. Most of us I guess last experienced bullying in school, where it is very straightforward. This person is very much like weev as described by Kathy Sierra -- blustering about freedom of speech, arguing they are just speaking plainly, and so on. And in contrast to weev they have actually produced some useful stuff and in certain situations actually do help others. My feeling is that their behavior is unacceptable regardless of whatever collateral value they might generate, but others disagree.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 6:59 AM
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OT: Is "Patrick" a common name for French people?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 7:05 AM
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164: Popular enough to not be unusual, I think.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 7:07 AM
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I thought they would use "Patrice."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 7:09 AM
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I thought Blather would be a better name than Yik Yak.

Or Tattle, perhaps. Maybe the FBI has that one already.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 7:14 AM
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French bloke named Patrick: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/oct/09/patrick-modiano-wins-nobel-prize-for-literature

Also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_%28given_name%29


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 7:15 AM
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91: So Vader is such a compelling villain because of his strict moral code?


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 7:16 AM
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168.1 is, of course, what brought the question to my mind.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 7:16 AM
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169: I think 91 was contrasting Vader with, for example, that lawyer in Jurassic Park who abandons the kids to save himself at the first sign of danger and subsequently meets with an ignominious death-by-Tyrannosaurus, much to the amusement of the audience.

Original trilogy Vader at least got to be badass. The Jurassic Park lawyer was just cowardly and pathetic.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 7:25 AM
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171: The computer-guy-villain in Jurassic Park has this same venal quality.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 7:28 AM
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Is "Patrick" a common name for French people?

Not anymore. Though strangely, it is more common than "Patrice".


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 7:34 AM
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...for newborns, that is. Presumably there are still a lot of fifty- and sixty-something Patricks running around.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 7:36 AM
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171: I guess I'm thinking Vader and other villains can be badass because of their implacability. Which is kind of a moral quality, or at least a test of character. You know, as well as being a seven foot cyborg that swings a sword made of light. The lawyer in Jurassic Park didn't have that either.

It kind of reminds me of how Cao Cao in Romance of the Three Kingdoms is sometimes described as a "hero" in English because he is an individual with an epic quality. Though in the story he is closer to a European villain like Morgana le Fay.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 7:40 AM
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173: Thanks. I hadn't realized.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 7:52 AM
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Related, Kathy Sierra's piece about getting harrassed by weev and why she thinks they do it, "Trouble at the Koolaid Point". A constant trickle of anonymous racist abuse is probably better, as these things go, than death threats and doxxing, but it's still awful.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 11:06 AM
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177's lack of acknowledgement of 163 is grounds for being heckled all over the internet.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 3:11 PM
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177's lack of acknowledgement of 163 is grounds for being heckled all over the internet.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 3:11 PM
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177's lack of acknowledgement of 163 is grounds for being heckled all over the internet.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 3:11 PM
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I'm glad that triple posted. So there!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 3:12 PM
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Triple posting is the worst form of heckling.

171: That guy in Jurassic Park was one of the examples I had in mind. Bad-ass villains are always fearless. Bad-ass villains usually have the virtues of heroes, except they are unconstrained by conventional morality.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 9-14 3:29 PM
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Yik-Yak is all over campus round here. The bullying part seems somewhat counterbalanced by rapid downvoting of personalized comments.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-10-14 2:57 AM
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