In the current era where social trend of reaching out anonymous people and chatting with them is becoming increasingly popular, it is also raising questions over how such apps become a fuel for cyberbullying. In recent past, applications like Whisper, Yik Yak, Secret, Ask.fm and many more became a top trending amongst youngsters. Similarly, the Sarahah app has now made its ground and entered one of the most trending applications worldwide.
This application was introduced in mid of July this year in the Apple App Store and quickly made itself as popular as applications like Facebook, Snapchat etc. Its first introduction was in Saudi Arabia in November 2016. The name “Sarahah” is derived from Arabic Language meaning “honesty”.
The app basically invites users to leave anonymous messages on other users’ profiles. However, it also adds an automatic message or popup urging users to leave positive messages for others to lead to a peaceful world. The message quotes: “Leave a constructive message”.
What started as an application for employees to give honest feedback to their managers’ performance anonymously made its way into the world’s trending. It was like a home to offer suggestions and improvements.
However, since its rise in fame, Sarahah app has come under immense scrutiny of its help to offer a platform for cyberbullying. David Ryan Polgar, digital citizenship expert, quoted:
“There’s really nothing new about what this is doing. The larger point that we need to decide when designing these environments is pretty philosophical — at our core, ‘how are people? If we leave them to their own devices, are they going to be toxic online or kind?’ “
On the contrary, administration of Sarahah app take their stance that plenty of precautions against cyberbullying have been taken. The application has been equipped with a feature that filters keywords and prevents certain messages from being sent. It’s also added a tool to allow users to block accounts.
The founder of Sarahah app, Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq quoted:
“We’re taking this as a serious issue, and we’re focused on [building] new features,” he says. “I don’t want users to stray from the goal of Sarahaha.”
The popularity of Sarahah app is whooping. With the latest figures, its users reach almost 62 million! At the same time, a lot of people and security experts stay firm on the stance that despite many precautions and security features, and like many other former applications that made it to top trends, they believe that such applications do inevitably open doors for cyberbullying and such applications are short lived. Let us see what happens next! Stay tuned for more updates.