Sarahah, created by a developer from Saudi Arabia, named ZainAlabdin Tawfiq, has become a viral app on the internet and it is affecting everyone. This app allows anonymous messaging, which is why it has become hugely popular. However, there is a lot of criticism regarding hateful texts and cyber bullying. While the app is new to India, Sarahah was quite popular, so much so, that it on top of Apple App Store in over 30 countries in July. According to a BBC report, this has over 300 million users already. So, what exactly is the Sarahah app? The app description on Google Play Store says, “Sarahah helps people self-develop by receiving constructive anonymous feedback.” Interestingly, Sarahah means ‘honesty’ in Arabic, though this honesty is delivered anonymously. Here are answers to 5 questions that you might be having about the Sarahah application.
1. Who can write to your Sarahah account? The crucial aspect of Sarahah is to enable users to leave “constructive feedback” for others. On the app, you can look for people by simply searching. If a user wants to read comments from a person, the option is set by default within the app. However, this option is limited to just the people who have a Sarahah account. Also, you can also remove your name from the search option and instead copy and share your Sarahah account link with your friends from whom you want to get anonymous messages.
2. Can you follow users on Sarahah? The app logs comments you have received, sent and favourited. That’s the closest you get to a “follow” option if you want to continue sending feedback to a user. Currently, there’s no way to respond to a message, but according to Sarahah’s website, they are “studying this option.”
3. Is Sarahah similar to Ask.fm? Sarahah follows a long line of social networking apps allowing its users to leave anonymous comments or ask anonymous questions. In some cases, users might share a screenshot of the message or question on another service like Twitter and Snapchat, then leave an answer.
4. What’s the deal with Sarahah and cyber bullying? Here’s where the anonymity of Sarahah becomes not so fun: people can sometimes be mean. Several reviews on Apple’s App Store cite a lot of the bad comments as a reason for giving Sarahah a weak rating. While cyber bullying has been considered a serious issue on social media, an anonymity gives the trolls, even more, the power to shame.
5. Should you use Sarahah? Sarahah is supposed to be a fun app which lets friends or colleagues know their irritating public habits. But these things can quickly spiral out of control. The internet still remains a place which brings out the worst in people and with anonymous messaging, there are grave risks attached.
Sarahah might remind some of the apps like Secret, Whisper. The truth is that receiving rude messages will be a harrowing experience for most. While the app talks about giving ‘constructive feedback,’ remember even anonymous messages can hurt.