Sarahah app goes viral: But is the 'honest' message app helping trolls, cyber-bullies?

Sarahah app goes viral: But is the 'honest' message app helping trolls, cyber-bullies?

Sarahah app allows its users to send anonymous messages to other users who can be found using a link or through email address.

A new viral trend has taken the netizens by storm and this time it is revolves around 'honesty'. This fresh talk of town is an online messaging app, Sarahah.

The Sarahah app is available for both iOS and Android and has already been installed on millions of devices within a matter of months. Such is the craze, that the Sarahah app has already crossed 50 lakh downloads on Google Play Store since its launch in February. Turquoise blurbs with anonymous messages have flooded Facebook and Snapchat news feeds during the past few days.

Here's a rundown of Sarahah app for those who are yet to get familiar to it and the feared outcomes that might come to pass because of it:

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What is Sarahah app?

Sarahah is an Arabic word which literally means 'honesty'. The messaging app was developed by Saudi Arabian developer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq to 'help people self-develop by receiving constructive anonymous feedback'.

And this has been the USP of the Sarahah app. In a nut shell, you can say anything to anyone, even something embarrassing, without the awkwardness that would have ensued if the message was conveyed in person. What helps is that the receiver cannot respond to the messages sent either, at least not on Sarahah.

The app allows its users to send anonymous messages to others who have installed this app. The sender needs to have the link to the Sarahah profile of the person he wants to send a message to. Users can be searched using user ID or registered email addresses, but the search function of Sarahah app is not as accurate as other social media platforms due to its anonymity aspect.

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How to use Sarahah app?

The first order of business is to download and install the Sarahah app from Google Play Store or App Store. After installing the application, you will have to register with your name, email address, and password.

Once you sign up, you can share the link to your Sarahah app profile with your friends via social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or such. After this, you will start receiving messages from your friends who have this link. You will not know who sent the messages though, nor will you be able to respond to them. You can also send anonymous messages to your friends the same way.

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Is Sarahah becoming a haven for cyber-bullies?

Although meant as a simple messaging app with a different idea, the anonymity feature of Sarahah app is being misused by some malicious individuals for trolling and cyber-bullying.

Several reports have been doing the rounds where users have been subjected to distasteful comments on the app. A substantial part of the user base for the Saraha app comprises youngsters and teenagers which makes the situation even more difficult.

There have been incidents where users have received death threats in their names and in the names of their family members. Several parents too have grown doubtful of the application due to these very reasons.

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Published on: Aug 10, 2017, 7:47 PM IST
Posted by: Vivek Punj, Aug 10, 2017, 7:47 PM IST