You might have seen the Sarahah storm on social media over the past week. It is a trend which rose quickly in the public consciousness.
After the wave, it is hard to avoid seeing anything about Sarahah on the FB feed. An app from the Middle East, the Sarahah is just a few months old, and already has taken Egypt and Saudi Arabia by storm.
Sarahah is an anonymous messaging app with a very simple interface. You can send messages to anyone on the app, but your identity won’t be disclosed and will remain anonymous.
You need to create a profile on Sarahah. After that anyone can visit your profile and leave a message anonymously.
You don’t even have to log in. But if you want, you can choose to tag your identity. On the other end, receivers will get messages in their inbox without a name. You can flag them, delete them, reply or favourite specific texts to find them later.
The app began life as a platform for honest opinions and ‘constructive’ criticism. But things have turned ugly. Sarahah app has proved the age-old saying, ” When You Give People a Mask, They Will Reveal Their Ugliest Self”. Lately, the app is being used for narcissistic comments and sadistic trolls. It has become a medium for harassing people online.
The potential of misuse of the app is multiple times higher based on how it can be used. Anonymity is like a drug, which is being misused here very badly. Things are turning nasty, and toxic things are being spread, which are affecting people badly. It has become a new ground for hatred and enmity. The app is being misused to abuse others, and people are feeding their ego with vulgar and abusive messages.
Sarahah app is actually being used to harass people in a perverted manner. Several people have been negatively affected by creepy and abusive texts. Sarahah could become a potential gateway for depression. Because of anonymity, it can very well drive someone to go over the edge. In the past, apps like Ask FM and YikYak were accused of promoting such cyber bullying and abuse. In fact AskFM was blamed for a string of suicides in UK and Italy back in 2012. The Sarahah app needs a thorough check too. Otherwise, it won’t take much time for Sarahah to become another potential AskFM.
If you are on Sarahah, you might have noticed, the app doesn’t have the option to delete your profile. But, there’s a way you can remove your account.
First, login to the official Sarahah website and search for your account.
Go to the settings, and you will see ‘Options’ on the left side.
There, below the ‘Personal Information’ option, you will see ‘Password’. Click on it. In there you will get the ‘Remove Account’ option.
Click on the ‘Remove Account’ option. Sarahah will confirm, if you want to remove the account, and that it can’t be undone (which means you lose all your previous messages).
Click on ‘Yes’, and your account will be removed.
Tawfiq, who developed the app, has said that Sarahah as a company takes all these issues very seriously. They have introduced a number of measures, such as the option of blocking usersand new word filters to prevent abuse.
In the slew of anonymity, we might have forgot our basic morals and codes of conduct, that weaves us together in a society. It is easy to conclude that, apps like Sarahah insinuatingly encourage such abusive, narcissistic and sadistic behaviour. But in reality, they are just the masks which bring out the real human behaviour.