The CNBC GOP primary debate will have real repercussions and yik yak newsletter

The GOP Debate Might Be Ridiculous, but Its Repercussions Will Be Real

The GOP Debate Might Be Ridiculous, but Its Repercussions Will Be Real

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Oct. 28 2015 6:31 PM

The GOP Debate Might Be Ridiculous, but Its Repercussions Will Be Real

Plus some concerns about the latest concerns about Yik Yak.

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Ben Carson speaks next to Donald Trump during the Republican primary debate at the Reagan Library on Sept. 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Slate–orinas,

In July and August, the 2016 presidential campaign felt breezy, as we all chuckled at Donald Trump. But now we’re wearing sweaters, and Trump still heads the Republican-candidate gaggle. Wednesday night brings the third GOP primary debate, stakes are high, and summer seems like long ago.

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The third Republican debate might be ridiculous, but it’ll have real repercussions.

After each debate, some candidates’ poll numbers have risen, while others’ have plunged. The face-offs have enabled Carly Fiorina’s rise and Scott Walker’s fall. Wednesday’s contest will prove equally consequential. Fiorina, Christie, and Rubio might goose (or doom) their chances with aggressive performances. Jeb Bush will look to save his campaign from ending with a whimper. As for Trump, he’ll reckon with Ben Carson, the sleepy neurosurgeon now topping the Iowa polls. Republican voters have appreciated how the doctor’s calm has befuddled the Donald’s bombast. How each man approaches their contrasting styles and newfound rivalry will likely determine the next phase of the primary, at least on the outsider wing of the GOP. The election seems like the distant future, but the Iowa caucus is about three months away. This debate will help determine who makes it in and who makes it out.

Everyone’s allowed into the social network Yik Yak. Activists encouraging colleges to kick their students out are misguided.

Yik Yak is a social app for posting anonymous comments (“yaks”) to others logged in within a 5-mile radius. It’s popular on college campuses, but it’s been criticized for enabling harassment, threats, and abuse. (Abuse that is a symptom of a different problem.) Last week, a coalition of feminist and civil rights groups asked the Department of Education to crack down on the app, making recommendations for guidelines and oversight. But the coalition gave one particularly questionable suggestion: to ban Yik Yak entirely on college campuses. That’s misguided, Amanda Hess writes, since banning Yik Yak would block marginalized and depressed students from one of their best outlets for support. As Hess says, if we wanted to block people from all forums where they’re vulnerable to harassment, we’d ban Facebook, Twitter, email, and walking on sidewalks. Plus, Yik Yak has been uniquely responsive to abuse that occurs on its app. Banning it seems like an overreaction all too typical of olds scared of new technology that youngs love for legitimate reasons.

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For olds and youngs alike, sadly, it’s not all fun and blimp chases out there.

With high energy,
Seth Maxon
Home page editor for nights and weekends

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