Bomb threat made on Yik Yak was joke post, user turns himself in

Alex Wilson

Yik Yak, an app owned by Instagram, is a popular means of anonymous communication between students at UNF.  Image courtesy Yik Yak
Yik Yak, an app owned by Instagram, is a popular means of anonymous communication between students at UNF.
Image courtesy Yik Yak

A student contacted UNFPD on Sept. 3 after noticing several posts referring to a bomb or bomb threat at UNF on the popular anonymous app Yik-Yak.

The student reported seeing comments mentioning the threat between 10 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., and she ultimately posted on the app asking about the threat. Someone responded to her question and informed the student that a person with the username “PAWS” originally posted that there was a bomb at UNF. The student tried to find the original post, but was unable to locate it since the app deletes posts after a predetermined amount of time.

UNFPD met with the student and also tried to locate the original post, but failed to do so. UNFPD did notice several posts from “PAWS” stating that the threat was a joke and that he had already contacted the police department about the threat.

Around 2 a.m. on Sept. 4, UNFPD received a call from a male who identified himself as the person who posted the bomb threat message. The man explained that the post was a joke, and after realizing that people were taking it seriously, he contacted the Jacksonville’s Sheriff’s Office. The dispatcher reportedly told the man to keep the post on his phone in case an officer wanted to see it.

UNFPD asked the man if he was on UNF campus when he made the post. However, the man stated that he was at home when he made the post, and told the officer that he works in promotions and thus has special access to Yik Yak from anywhere within in the city.

The male assured UNFPD that this was a joke and that it wouldn’t happen again. UNFPD officers explained to him the seriousness of the post, and told him that he may be contacted by UNFPD about the matter in the future.

Jordan Bebout contributed to this report. 

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