What is Sarahah and How does Sarahah work? Sarahah was launched in November 2016 as a website created by Saudi Arabian developer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq. Soon Sarahah becomes so popular among teenagers. But, on the contrary, Sarahah caused the parents to raise the eyebrow as it balmed to encourage the cyberbullying among kids. Soon, it as removed from Playstore and Apple store. But, what caused it to create chaos and caused the havoc of Sarahah? Find here:
What is Sarahah?
Sarahah.com, Introduced in November 2016 was an anonymous messaging service that started out with an idea to provide the employ, a platform to review and write an honest opinion about their bosses without any fear or threat.
As the name suggests itself Sarahah which means “honesty” in Arabic, employees could write their thought and feedback about their bosses anonymously and publically on Sarahah without even worrying about job threats or ill circumstances.
Sarahah was designed by Saudi Arabian developer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq in late ’16. Later, it was expanded and open for the public to send messages to anonymous persons without revealing own identity. This expansion helped Sarahah to become so popular among teenagers in the middle East.
Initially, the service was limited to web-based service. It was an individual website with a domain “Sarahah.com”. Soon, On June 13, 2017, Sarahah was launched for all mobile platforms across the world including Android, iOS and other major platforms. Sarahah was considered as a high potential marketplace. This made all other social media platform to integrate Sarahah on its platform.
SnapChat and Sarahah
In July 2017, another popular social media platform Snapchat introduced a paperclip feature where users were allowed to add the links to their Snapchat stories. As Snapchat was already popular in U.S. This new feature helped Sarahah to become popular overnight in U.S. and other countries.
People started posting Sarahaha links to their Snapchat stories and snaps. This caused the Sarahah mobile apps to became a huge hit even though the service says it is just for people 17 years of age and over.
Later in July 2017, it was among the most popular free apps on the iOS AppStore and the Google Play Store in the U.S.
Downfall of Sarahah
However, the service was introduced to help the employees and workers in Saudi. But, this Snapchat linking feature caused Sarahah exposed to cyberbullying. It was reported that the teenagers were getting random harassing messaging on the platform from anonymous.
As the Sarahah messenger service was developed to send messages and posts anonymously, it was hard to track down the sender of messages. This caused a big concern to the parents.
However, the developer of Sarahah told that the AI was designed to filter and censor any illicit contents and words.
The AI was advanced enough to detect and block the sender from offending texts and would have blocked them from being sent to their intended recipients.
The service to send anonymous messages made it exposed to cyberbullying and made it easy to send harassing messaging including sexual and life threats.
Sarahah removed from Google Play and Apple Store
It was reported that Sarahah app for Android and iOS was caught mobile app collected and uploaded the user’s phone numbers and email addresses from their smartphone’s contacts.
Again the developer Tawfiq explained that it was intended to help users to invited friends and colleagues as “find your friends” feature.
But still, the app was found to violate other privacy policies without the consent of users. One of the many public reports of cyberbullying via Sarahah came in early January 2018 from a 14-year old girl from the U.K. Messages not only harassed the girl but tried to bully her into harming herself or even committing suicide.
Later, Katrina Collins, a mother from Australia started a petition on change.org website stating that her 13-year-old daughter is getting continuous harassing messages on her Sarahah account. She reported the petition against Sarahah Android and Sarahah iOS app as well.
This petition quickly generated more than 0.5 million of other petitions around the world in support. Soon the petition receives other signatures from users stating the harassment and threats.
Apparently, Google decides to remove the app from Play store in February 2018 officially. Followed by Google soon the app was taken down from Apple store as well.
However, Google and Apple avoid making any comment on the removal of the Sarahah app from the platforms.
Sarahah- Current status
After the ban from Google and Apple store, the service was considered as dead. But, the website is still available at Sarahah.com and fully functional. According to Whois data, Sarahah the domain is still working and was renewed for 19-11-2023.
You can even have the mobile version of the site set up as a shortcut to your home page. While it doesn’t have the same kind of reach as it did in mid-2017, Sarahah still can be used, potentially by teenagers younger than what the service is supposed to allow.
Sarahah was introduced to help employees to report and post a fear-free opinion about their bosses and report harassment in the workplace. But, later it ended up a racist and cyberbully prone zone. The service is still available but is already banned on Android and iOS platforms. Are you a user? What is your opinion about the ban on the service?