Sarahah App: Reasons Google Play Store and Apple App Store took it down

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Introduction

There is a slew of social media platforms and it would require a great deal of efforts to shuttle through all of them. So, if you haven’t in anyway stumbled on Sarahah, you’d be pardoned. This app was launched in 2016 with millions of members, with teenagers making up to 90% of the members.

You can take a guess, it would have shut teens from the real world of school work, assignments, projects, and even house chores.
A concerned mother filed an online petition in 2018, about the social network’s mode of operations.

Now, this brings up the numerous questions about this social medium, yeah? Through the course of this post, I hope to tackle those questions. Don’t move a muscle, just follow through.

What you need to know about Sarahah

Sarahah in the Arabic language translates to “honesty”. The main reason why the Saudi Arabian developer, Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq developed this Social Medium in 2016, was to give workers an online podium where workers aired their view about their organizations to their full without being fired or even facing a threat.

Anonymous messaging platform

Sarahah worked anonymously, so these workers’ identities were safe. Tawfiq wasn’t pretty satisfied as he knew Sarahah could do more than just what he intended, so he enlarged Sarahah to reach not just workplaces. An update on the site was released allowing users to allow their folks, acquaintances to anonymously send messages.

This helped them give responses without fear that their relationships with their friends were going to crumble. Users once signed up could share links to their friends publicly on the internet. In the Middle East and Africa, Sarahah website became very popular in the first six (6) months of 2017.

The birth of Sarahah App

Websites last longer in the heart of users if it becomes an app, so Sarahah took advantage of this in June 2017, and released in other countries and in the US its mobile app version to cross the Andriod and iOS systems.

In July or there about, other social media apps and Snapchat got a new feature known as Paperclip, when they got updated- Paperclip gave users leeway to insert web links to Snapchat stories including snaps.

The rise of Sarahah in the US

In America, teenagers immediately started adding Sarahah links to their stories, owing to Snapchat’s massive popularity.
Sarahah soon started enjoying vast acceptance, due to this new trend and development, in spite, it’s approval only for teenagers age 17 years old and above.

In the United States, on Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, in July 2017 it became one of the most popular free applications.

Why Sarahah bothered Parents

Upon registration on Sarahah on the website or Andriod and iOS app, users were given links to disseminate on social media platforms. Any anonymous comment of any type can be posted by anyone that clicks on this link.

Users could also add a photo in their profile, while they were at constructing a message to post.

Anonymously, on their Facebook accounts, Sarahah members shared feedbacks. Cyber-bulling showed up and parents became worried, with the brusque rush in the way teenagers took in Saharah in America and other countries.

This social media platform didn’t bring aboard this perceived threat, but its design which allowed messages to be sent anonymously to members fashioned the plan in a way users sent to fellow members racist or unprintable messages and death threats.

Sarahah AI-based filtering systems failed

There were claims by Tawfiq that Sarahah could detect offending texts as it used Al-based filtering systems. This system blocked these sort of message from getting to the intended recipients. Well, this simply implies this filtering functionality wasn’t designed to proof against misuse- no foolproof!

A 14-years old teenage girl got harassing anonymous messages and was almost bullied to the extent of committing suicide. This, and other public cyber-bullying cases through this service were reported in January 2018. Sarahah in 2017 had to check in some privacy concerns.

This mobile app got and put up phone numbers, and email addresses of its users from the contacts on their smartphones, according to the Intercept. “Find your friends” option on Sarahah was later reported by Tawfiq to have been taken off its servers.

The phone numbers and email addresses of members are no longer saved by Sarahah.

Why Sarahah App was taken off Google Play and Apple store

Katrina Collins in January 2018 filed on Change.org site an online petition, this led finally to the final development that sealed Sarahah mobile App’s fate. Katrina Collins is a mother from Australia, stated her 13 years old daughter got harassed via this social media platform by text messages.

Quickly, this petition got tractions with over 400,000 online “signatures”. In February 2018, the petition resulted in Sarahah’s removal from Google Play store and Apple store.

What’s Sarahah’s Current Status?

If you still got the app before it was taken off Google Play Store and Apple App store, the app still runs smoothly. But Sarahah app isn’t available in Google Play Store or Apple App store since it was taken down in February 2018. For the site? It is functional and open for new members to register and make use of it.

Hi! My name is Ikenna Gabriel Ifenna and I am a professional IT consultant. I have an excellent understanding of how computer works and I love to read, write and research about tech kinds of stuff. I design websites, knows how to use WordPress multisite to create complex web applications and I design e-Commerce websites for businesses. When I am not doing any of these, you can find me riding bicycle with Strava. Want to work together? I would love to hear from you.

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