Commentary

Is Sarahah simply all about anonymous cyber-bashing?

Sarahah pic1

TheMole
Written by TheMole

August 23, 2017.

By Dave Avran

Everyone is talking about Sarahah, an app that allows users to send anonymous messages to others registered with the app. The key highlight of Sarahah is that it doesn’t reveal the identity of the sender.

Sarahah is the brainchild of Saudi Arabian developer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, once a part of Indian IT firm Wipro and who gained his programming knowledge from an Indian university. He introduced Sarahah about six months ago as a website. However, he later realised that Sarahah would do wonders as an app.

That’s when he created the Sarahah app, which is now available for both Android and iOS users. Sarahah has become popular in lightning quick time. It was rolled out as an app on last June 13 and in a matter of two months, gained amazing success with over 10 million downloads and has become the top trending app.

The app went viral for two reasons. Firstly, it is very simple to use. All you need to do is sign up for it and share your ID on the Internet. Posting messages is simple and receiving one is even simpler. The main reason why Sarahah is so popular is because it panders to the narcissist within us.

For a generation that has grown up on Facebook and Instagram, social media platforms which are essentially all about self-obsession, Sarahah is a similar outlet that helps web users feel that the world revolves around them. By giving the sender the option to anonymously send a message, Sarahah allows a user to get direct feedback from the world. It could be great feedback, bad, or plain nasty messages. But all of them are about the user.

While some of you may already know about this application and how it works, there are many who are surprised by the craze, so here are some details you should know before you start using Sarahah.

Sarahah is an Arabic term that means honesty. The key idea behind the app is to allow people to send creative messages to each other while keeping their identity a secret. There’s no option to directly reply to the received messages. However, Sarahah is reportedly working on the reply option. 

Since there’s no name and no information about the sender of the message anywhere, because of the anonymity built in the application, some users are misusing it as a cyber bullying platform. Most people are registering with the app to send unsavoury and offensive messages to people instead of constructive feedback.

The application has raised concerns among parents and teachers. A review that was posted on Google Play reads “My 13-year-old sister uses this and she got a death threat aimed at our 2-year-old brother.” After such incidents, many parents have reported the app and described this as the newest platform for cyber bullying.

Sarahah is still in a developing stage and comes with a lot of security concerns. There is no way to directly block a user on Sarahah. However, if a user receives an offensive message, he can simply long press on the message and block it, after which the user will not receive any message from that sender.

On the other hand, there are people who worry about their identities being revealed. There are a few reports circulating on the web that Sarahah details will be revealed. Commenting on the matter, Sarahah’s founder says that the app comes with strict privacy policy and no information will be revealed without the user’s consent.

He further says this: “We will never reveal the identity of the sender unless we get his consent. You can see the terms and conditions of privacy policy regarding disclosure of information, about revealing the identity in certain circumstances where there is a violation. But if a user follows the rules and regulations of the app, his/her identify and information will be completely safe and will not be revealed.”

Comments

comments

About the author

TheMole

TheMole