Truth serum

New app lets you anonymously trash talk your friends–what could possibly go wrong?

How many times have you wished you could tell off your BFF without facing any consequences? Well, great news! Now you can!

Introducing Sarahah, which means “honesty” in Arabic. The premise of the app is simple: Tell your friends all those things you would never dare say to their faces under the guise of anonymity.

According to the app’s website, it’s purpose is to provide “honest feedback” by letting friends “be honest” about “areas for improvement.”

The app, which was launched a little less than a year ago, was created by Saudi Arabian developer Zain al-AbidinTawfiq, who originally started it for Arab employees to vent about their bosses without getting in trouble. But it has since taken a slightly different direction.

It didn’t take long for people to begin using it so shit talk directly to their friends faces. The app doesn’t tell them who sent the message, nor does it allow them to reply.

Here’s an example of some of the missives people are sending:

Too much haters….i know u are one of them?? #fun #sarahah P.S plz improve ur grammar first

A post shared by praveen prakash (@doc_praveen) on

Of course, not all the messages people send are quite so venomous. Some are slightly nicer:

Seriously, I don't get a lot of these but I love every single one I've received. #sarahah

A post shared by dyeman888 (@dyeman888) on

But Timothy Rawles over at the San Diego Gay and Lesbian News isn’t so sure about the app. He writes:

Once you have created a username and password you can then search for people you want to connect with and “say something constructive (smilie face)” the interface reminds you.

Here’s an example of one “constructive” post I found of one person’s screenshot “feedback” from the app: “I’m tired of you using your mental illness as a crutch for never ever growing up. You have no manners and mooch off of people and only want to talk about yourself.”

These are your friends?

Rawles says he’s worried about the negative effects the app would have on young people, particularly LGBTQ youth.

In the LGBT community being bullied is a real problem and giving a hateful person a platform to spew epithets is a bit like giving them a free pass for homophobia. Sarahah may now be a ‘safe’ way to bully school kids who are fooled into thinking the technology is fun or humorous and parents may never know.

He concludes by writing:

Americans have no problems identifying themselves when they have something to say these days, so I am perplexed at how Sarahah is useful for anything but antipathy. You don’t have to be anonymous to say something nice to someone.

What do you think? Is it just fun and games, or does Sarahah open the door for bullying and hate? Share your thoughts in the comments below…

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5 Comments

  • bridyyc

    People demonstrate the thoughtful and constructive dialogue that happens on the internet every day. What could go wrong with this?

  • Jack Meoff

    Just what the internet needs more ways for people to bully each other. Just wait till the school kids get their hands on it. The comments people make to each other in forums like this one are bad enough as it is.

  • Captain proton

    someone reinvented formspring, how (not) nice.

  • seaguy

    An App for people who do not have the spine or balls to say it to the person’s face. Pathetic!

  • Heywood Jablowme

    Most of these “anonymous” posters seem to have photos and/or screen names that would immediately indicate who they are to anyone who actually knows them IRL?

    But leaving that little problem aside: couldn’t most people figure out fairly quickly which “friend” wrote something negative? There are always little clues.

    Well, except maybe for that gender-fluid person. It could be that all of his/her/their friends have the same attitude.

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