Is Sarahah The New Bullying App

Sarahah, one of the newer messaging apps has become very very popular, but is it another bullying tool whose potential negative factors have been underestimated or bullyignored?  The idea of the app is quite simple.  Users can send and receive “constructive messages” or anonymous messages.   In Arabic, Sarahah means "honesty".  The designer of the said the app was meant for the workplace where people could offer their true thoughts on their co-workers with anonymity.  Well as anyone with 30secs of thought would realize, that is a recipe for disaster, rather than a tool of positivity.  

Well this app has turned into another bullying tool that allows people to send and say things anonymously that they would never have the balls to do in person.  

Many experts contend it is only a matter of time till this app, similar to previous ones like Yik Yak meet their demise despite its immense popularity at the moment.  

YouTuber Lonnie Randall notes “it’s kind of like an ego-destroying hate machine.” in the article on https://globalnews.ca/news/3842520/police-warn-parents-about-anonymous-commenting-app-sarahah/

The majority of cyber-experts are reporting that the Sarahah app's ability to offer anonymous comments is what will enable the online harassment among children, teenagers, and adults.  

Now many will say, if you don't like what someone has to say, don't look at it.  That is too simplistic and ignores the issue of bullying in the minds of our youth and how they are uneducated at knowing how to deal with it.  Hell most adults do not know how to deal with bullying.  It can be used to insult, threaten or sexually harass others without fear of being caught.  Do you really think the percentage of people using it to send positive messages is going to surpass the negative ones?  

Here are a couple more examples showing the dark side of anonymity.  These examples come from https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2017/08/how-sarahah-brought-out-our-ugly-side-full-of-hate-disgust-and-perverseness/

"Kaavya Pillai (24), who works as a journalist in Mumbai is a case in point. Pillai joined Sarahah because it sounded exciting and felt that everybody needed some validation once in awhile. She says that while she mostly received positive messages from people, she also faced her share of harassment. “I was harassed on Sarahah by one specific person, besides which I got a couple of sexual posts which were pretty creepy. My response to the unpleasant ones was generally just humour. The sexual ones is disgust and more humour because that’s how I cope”.

Kaavya is not alone when it comes to receiving lewd posts on the app. Wamika Singh (23), who works as a conceptualizer in Delhi has also received a message that made her feel uncomfortable. “I did get a creepy message where someone wrote that they wanted to kiss me and maybe more,” she says. However, she does not use the app anymore. “See, Sarahah is like a reality show winner. Got fame very fast, started trending but then it loses its charm very soon. How long are you going to be pleased with anonymous messages?”

So while there may be a limilted lifespan on this app, in the meantime I see little value in it for anyone. 

What are your thoughts on apps like this and how do you speak to your teens or children about them? 

We welcome your input at SAFE International

Keep SAFE!

Chris Roberts





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Monday, 19 August 2019
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