Infatuation with a new app seems almost commonplace in today’s society. An app becomes the next big trend, especially with young people, and begins to spread like wildfire. So what’s the latest app? It’s called Sarahah, and parents are concerned that the app will take cyber bullying to a whole new level.
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The app was originally created by Saudi Arabian developer, Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, who made the app so employees could give feedback and criticism to their employer without the fear of being disciplined, or even worse, fired.
In the last few years, Tawfiq began to think that the app could transition beyond the business world and into the personal lives of friends and family members. So on June 13 of this year, the app was released to the masses and was well received.
In the month of June, the app, which was already popular in the Middle East and Africa, was the top downloaded app on IOS and Android devices. But because the app relies on anonymous comments, parents feel the app might become a tool for bullying and ridicule.
Cyberbullying is already an issue, and although parents can monitor and put safety locks on their children’s devices to minimize some unwanted contact, apps are a bit harder to monitor.
Parents are leaving scathing reviews on the app, and some claim that their children have even received death threats through the app. “My 13-year-old sister uses this and she got a death threat aimed at our 2-year-old brother,” one review read.
Another parent warned potential users that the app was a “breeding ground for hate,” after her young son was sent racial epithets. “My son signed up for an account and within 24 hours someone posted a horrible racist comment on his page including saying that he should be lynched.”
Unfortunately, these kinds of apps are nothing new. In 2011, a similar app was created called Post Secret. It gave anominity to users and eventually got the attention of Apple and the FBI after pornograghic material and daily threats became the norm.
Anything in the wrong hands can be dangerous, so parents should be aware and monitor their child’s interactions closely.