It allows you to send and receive honest and secret messages from co-workers and friends, but many users say that it encourages bullying and harassment.
They say that you always have to tell the truth, be sincere and show things as they are, but it is not always appropriate or one does not dare. But what if you could get it anonymously, so that you could help someone who needs it or give you advice on a problem? Or even that you were the one who received those secret messages?
Now it is possible thanks to the application Sarahah (that in Arabic means “frankness” or “honesty”), created by the Saudi programmer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq was available free of charge to the mobile market last February. The success was overwhelming with 2.5 million users in Egypt, 1.7 million in Tunisia and 1.2 million in Saudi Arabia. Due to the success they want to expand worldwide and since it was released in June in the Apple Store, has shortly become the number 1 application in downloads.
The problem is that when a user who is anonymous, he or she runs the risk of being overly honest. Although Sarahah expected people to use the app to help their users to know their strengths and weaknesses, it seems that many users are getting out of hand and using this app as a way to harass and encourage hatred.
In fact, some comments written on the reviews of the app are worrisome. This is one: “My son made an account and in less than 24 hours someone had already put a racist comment on his profile. This application is sowing the seed of hatred.” Meanwhile, others warn of the problem that can pose for young people with low self-esteem: “I do not recommend it, unless you want to suffer bullying” or “Parents are now not letting children download it because promotes suicide.”
The application allows you to share these messages on other social networks, like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. It is not the first application that allows commenting anonymously. In 2017, the “Yik Yak” app which is similar to Sarahah, was forced to close after numerous critics and the misuse that was made of it, fomenting the hatred and the easy insult.
But not all are bad comments. There are people who are seeing in the application a way to reaffirm themselves in their strengths, to feel encouraged and to discover that there are people who help them to be a better person every day.
Despite comments on both sides, the app remains at the top of the Apple Store, but does not seem to have reached popularity in Android. We will have to wait and see its evolution, but one thing is clear: Curiosity killed the cat.