UCF PD: Yeti app, social media have consequences
From tweets to Yeets, students are sharing their stories of college life on many social-media outlets, including the Yeti - Campus Stories app.
Yeti - Campus Stories shows a live feed of photos and video of activity on and around campus. The app is aimed toward college students and works like Snapchat, and it features campus stories from many universities, such as UCF, Louisiana State University and Florida State University. Posts on Yeti are anonymous and can be viewed by any Yeti user at any college.
From simple selfies and pet pictures, to video and photos of a campus’ nightlife and party scenes, posts occasionally show students engaging in illegal activity, such as drug use and underage drinking.
“I know [Yeti] is a newer app, and I think it has gotten progressively more out of control since it started at UCF in terms of some of the illegal activities we’re seeing on there,” UCF spokeswomen Courtney Gilmartin said.
Whenever a student posts anything illegal on Yeti, they do so at their own risk, as they could face some trouble with the police and/or the university.
“Whether it is Yeti or any other social media, UCF Police does monitor it,” UCF PD Sgt. James Mangan said. “If we’re able to identify somebody, we can begin a criminal investigation if their actions might be criminal. ... We’re also able to send people through Student Code of Conduct."
Mangan reminds students that anytime someone uses social media, they’re never really anonymous — the content they post is out there forever.
Regarding anonymity, if a student posts a photo or video on Yeti — or any other social media — of himself or herself engaging in illegal activity, they can potentially be identified by a number of individuals, including law enforcement, fellow classmates, parents, professors or housing resident assistants, Mangan said.
Over the summer, UCF PD used an Instagram account for aid in a criminal investigation, which led to a hash-oil drug bust at Knights Circle. A confidential informant was able to identify the suspect, David Levine, through his Instagram account. Levine’s account featured numerous photos of cannabis and hash oil, including a photo of Levine himself holding a piece of hash oil with a tool, according to a UCF PD incident report.
“People need to remember that filming themselves committing a crime is not always the best thing to do,” Mangan said.
Gilmartin reminded students that they are responsible for whatever they post on their social media, as it can follow them throughout life.
“What you post on Yeti and any other social media can have implications on your social, academic and professional future, so just think twice,” Gilmartin said.
Eric Gutierrez is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter at @atticus_adrift or email him at EricG@CentralFloridaFuture.com.