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:
Ask me on a non-anonymous site and I'd be willing to talk about this. But I don't have the time/mental energy to address my identity to an anonymous audience. I will say this, though- it's super easy to ask peoples' pronouns, and those who know me/care enough will, even if it's a day they don't need to. (As I often make it very clear on social media when feminine pronouns aren't appropriate.) Again, if you wan more than that? Send me a private, non-anon message. — #sarahah #sarahahapp #anonymous #anonymousmessages #genderfluid #genderfluidpride #myidentityisnotachoice #seekunderstanding #comeoffanon
Hmm well I have no clue if this is meant to be nice or mean but I have been called this by my one friend quite often so yea … haha so either way I'm taking this with a smile on my face and loving it because I'd rather be this then lame and horrible… thank you person either way #sarahah #sarahahapp #notsure #butiloveit #positive #thankyou #muchlove #loveyouall
Of course, not all the messages people send are quite so venomous. Some are slightly nicer:
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…