Over the past two weeks, Whatsgoodly has taken IU by storm. For those of you who don’t know, Whatsgoodly is an app available for iOS and Android that lets you create and vote on polls anonymously within a campus radius. This app is very similar to Yik Yak, although more complex in several ways. Upon creating a completely anonymous account, users are able to differentiate themselves in terms of gender. Users can then create polls with various answer choices that others can vote on. Not only does it show how many people vote, but it also displays updated percentages of votes in a horizontal bar chart. Commenting on polls is another feature of this app, which is virtually the same as Yik Yak, as users can up-vote or down-vote anonymous comments. A couple of weeks ago, the maximum amount of votes you would see on a poll would be around 200. Now, there are as many as 600 votes – quite the burst in users.
This app has legitimate potential to be beneficial to IU students, but as of now it poses some major issues. Both of these outcomes hinge on the complete anonymity of the app, something that may have to change if the potential good of the app is to be truly realized.
I had the opportunity to talk with a couple of IU students about what they thought about the pros and cons of the app. When asked about the benefits the app could provide to students, sophomore Jack Donofrio said, “There are certain poll questions that are informative to students. One time I saw a poll asking what bars people were trying to go to on a Saturday night. That’s definitely a positive thing because it gives people insight into social life.” Content like this definitely helps IU culture. Who wouldn’t want to know where everyone is partying?
Sexual polls are definitely a hot topic of discussion as well. Whether it’s a certain position, place on campus or time of day, students are always letting each other know what’s going on in their sex lives.
Despite the laughs, Whatsgoodly has created a lot of negative stigmas. When asked about them, Sophomore Libby Haslett relayed some of the issues: “It’s very easy to cyber bully and target a specific individual. I know people whose names have been exposed in polls with some very rude and obnoxious questions. They feel very uncomfortable and become more self-conscious whenever they see a poll about them.” This is definitely not okay. If this individual targeting keeps up, I have no doubt IU will start taking actions. On Whatsgoodly’s website, they do state that they will cooperate with local authorities if the situation calls for it; so if you are an individual that has been creating polls using students’ full names, STOP.
Libby also talked about how Greek life is affected negatively by this app as well, saying how “specific fraternities and sororities are constantly being made fun of in one way or another, and no one knows who is behind it.” Come on people. Greek life is already going through enough turmoil, let’s show some respect.
Bottom line: Whatsgoodly is a fun app that has a good chance at staying around, but calling out individuals can spread untrue rumors about them that aren’t justified.