Sarahah, the controversial application of honesty to criticize co-workers and friends anonymously

Sarahah, the controversial "application of honesty" to criticize co-workers and friends anonymously. Being able to say everything ...

Sarahah, the controversial "application of honesty" to criticize co-workers and friends anonymously. Being able to say everything to friends and coworkers digitally and anonymously. That is what Sarahah proposes, an app developed by Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, a 29-year programmer from Saudi Arabia.

Sarahah, which in Arabic can be translated as frankness or honesty, was launched in February and had immediate success. At the end of the month, it already had 2.5 million users in Egypt, 1.7 million in Tunisia and 1.2 million in Saudi Arabia, according to a BBC report. Despite its success, the company has barely three employees.

Sarahah, the controversial application of honesty to criticize co-workers and friends anonymously

In June it reached the App Store (available in English or Arabic), and in a few days, it reached the top spot among the most downloaded free applications. There you can read the user reviews.

Some show a positive look at this platform as it helps generate "constructive criticism." "The application is designed to help you discover your strengths and difficulties through honest feedback from your co-workers and friends," says one user.

However, others believe that "it is not good at all" because they receive "aggressive and hurtful" comments. Many, in fact, consider that it is only a tool that favors bullying.

How does it work

To use this social network to receive comments from others, you must download the app and register. Once this is done, a personal profile is generated, which can be shared using a link.

Anyone who joins that link (although not registered in the app) can leave messages or comments to the user anonymously.

That is to say that anyone can say but to receive comments from others, it is necessary to be registered on the site.

Sarahah, the controversial application of honesty to criticize co-workers and friends anonymously


However, Sarahah does not allow public photos or messages to be published in a thread, such as on Twitter, for example. And aggressive commentators or trolls can be blocked by their IP address, even if they are not registered.

In turn, the platform includes filters and locks to take care of the privacy of the user.

But even so, harassment exists and is no longer a concern in the user community.

Tawfiq, its creator, said measures are being taken to prevent abuse. "Misuse is a challenge for all social networks," said the young author in an interview with the BBC.

Sarahah is not the first application of its kind. There were others like Yik Yak, for example following the same logic, but following a series of incidents was removed from the Apple application store.

In 2015 a student was suspended for six months after publishing a racist comment, and another student was charged with a hate crime after posting "Let's Lick It" about a classmate.

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