App developers help UNA ID writer of threat - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

App developers help UNA ID writer of threat

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Mitchell may face further charges and disciplinary actions as a result of a threatening post he admittedly made on Yik Yak. Mitchell may face further charges and disciplinary actions as a result of a threatening post he admittedly made on Yik Yak.
While the app claims anonymous posting, developers said the threatening post was "not what we're about." While the app claims anonymous posting, developers said the threatening post was "not what we're about."
FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) -

Creators of a social media app helped track down a Tennessee Valley student accused of making a threatening post.

Police gave 22-year-old Brian Mitchell a chance to turn himself in after he posted his desire to "shoot up UNA" last week. Mitchell faces terrorist threat charges and further disciplinary actions on campus.

Although the post was meant to remain anonymous, site officials tracked down the author. UNA Vice President of Student Affairs David Shields said officials with social app Yik Yak contacted the university and offered to help them track down the person responsible.

"They worked with our chief and we were able to pinpoint a GPS location as to where it came from. Through some other investigative work, we began to narrow it down really quickly," said Shields.

UNA Police sent out a campus-wide email giving the person responsible a chance to turn themselves in. Shortly thereafter, they said Mitchell called police and admitted to making the post.

"He will face additional charges and a full hearing here at the university to determine his future. It's my understanding that he's also facing criminal charges," said Shields.

Although the app claims to allow users to post comments anonymously, Yik Yak representatives told UNA the type of post left was "not what we're about." Shields said there's a much bigger lesson to be learned from this situation.

"Nothing is anonymous on the internet. Yik Yak claims to be an anonymous sort of posting thing, and it isn't really anonymous. Again, with the help of Yik Yak, and a lot of other social media sites, most things that are posted can be tracked. I would not be fooled when something says it's anonymous," Shields said.

University officials said they do take any and all threats made very seriously. They said their number-one priority is to provide a safe environment for all students and staff.

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