Sarahah is an app and website that allows users to send and receive anonymous messages.
What is the Sarahah app?
- Users cannot respond to messages but they can “favorite” messages
- Sarahah users can link their account to their Snapchat account
- It was created by Saudi Arabian developer in hopes that it “helps you in discovering your strengths and areas for improvement by receiving honest feedback from your employees and your friends in a private manner.”
- The name Sarahah means “frankness” or “honesty” in Arabic and after spreading throughout the Arab world, it has now claimed the top spot on the list of free apps in the Apple store in markets like Australia, the US, UK and Ireland after the company released an English version last month. – Source
- The original idea of the app was to allow a way for more honest communication in traditional Arab communities with strict expectations around status
- Users can use Snapchat to send anonymous messages through Sarahah
- Typically, teens will share their anonymous Sarahah messages on their Snapchat in an attempt to determine who sent the anonymous comment
Sarahah app in the news
The [Sarahah] app has become a breeding ground for cyberbullying and hate speech. –Fortune
[Sarahah] is easy to sync with popular apps like Snapchat and Instagram, and it lets users send anonymous messages to one another. But its popularity with teens and potentially underage users, as well as the app’s potential to facilitate online bullying, has a lot of parents and users worried. –Inverse
Why should parents care?
- Since this is an app that promotes anonymity, teens and tweens feel like they can hide behind their anonymous screen names and bully others without repercussions
- Sarahah is predominantly used to bully other users
- There is no filter for explicit content
- By default, anyone can leave a message on a profile even if they don’t have an account
- There is no way to report inappropriate content or threats
- Teens and tweens are posting links to their Sarahah accounts on Instagram and Snapchat
- Sarahah has skyrocketed to the top of the app store in less than 6 weeks due to its popularity with teens
- Students are inclined to behave inappropriately when in an anonymous online setting
- Negative messages (even private and anonymous ones) can have an impact on a student’s digital footprint
What can parents do?
- Discuss the dangers of anonymous apps and have your student delete their Sarahah account
- Ensure that your child knows what is appropriate to send in private messages, even if they are anonymous
- If your teen has a desire to use apps like Sarahah, challenge your teen to give positive and constructive feedback offline
- Give students the tools to understand how they should value anonymous feedback from the internet
- Consider joining Parent University to get a digital road map for your family online. This strategy will protect your kids today (and protect their online identity for tomorrow)