AAAI Publications, Workshops at the Thirtieth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Studying Anonymous Health Issues and Substance Use on College Campuses with Yik Yak
Animesh Koratana, Mark Dredze, Margaret S. Chisolm, Matthew W. Johnson, Michael J. Paul

Last modified: 2016-03-29

Abstract


This study investigates the public health intelligence utility of Yik Yak, a social media platform that allows users to anonymously post and view messages within precise geographic locations. Our dataset contains 122,179 “yaks” collected from 120 college campuses across the United States during 2015. We first present an exploratory analysis of the topics commonly discussed in Yik Yak, clarifying the health issues for which this may serve as a source of information. We then present an in-depth content analysis of data describing substance use, an important public health issue that is not often discussed in public social media, but commonly discussed on Yik Yak under the cloak of anonymity.

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