“You were kind of chubby in high school, but you look a lot better now.” Ouch…
I’d downloaded and had Sarahah for a few days when I received this message. If you’re not familiar with the new app that’s taken over it’s called Sarahah and it’s an anonymous messaging app. It’s predominantly popular with U.S. teenagers and was developed by a Saudi Arabian developer using the Arabic word for candor or openness for the namesake of the app. But how does it work?
The purpose of the app was to help discover strengths and areas in need of work by receiving honest feedback from your employees and friends in a private way. Users can search for others who they may know or not know and send an anonymous message, much like the one above, I won’t ever know who it’s from. It’s simple to get started. Just download the app from Google Play or the App Store for free, register a username, and go! Users can go on to share their profile with friends on other social media platforms, look up people they may know, and start sending and receiving anonymous messages.
Technology is wonderful. The concept behind Sarahah can be a great source of betterment and even a confidence booster, but it can also be a very negative one as well. Since its arrival in June of 2017, it sky rocketed to No. 1 on the App Store’s apps. With anonymity comes a freedom for people to express those things that would not be acceptable to say in person. That’s why the concern with this popular app is cyber-bullying and that there is no liability that comes with it. There’s been numerous accounts of teenagers and adults alike receiving racial threats, sexual advances, and outright hate through the service.
On normal social media platforms, if someone posted something online that negatively impacted you as a person or your business there could a path of recourse. In our sue happy society, lawsuits for slander, libel, and defamation of character have been dominating the court rooms for the past few years. Defamation is a false statement that causes injury to your character. Slander and libel are types of defamation, the difference being slander is a defamatory statement that’s been spoken and libel is a defamatory statement that’s been written. If you have personal injury coverage on your homeowners or business policy then you would probably defense cover if such a suit was brought against you. The catch with it all is knowing who made the statement. With the concept of Sarahah and other anonymous message sites, if you don’t know the culprit how would there be any recourse?
Mama taught us if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. I guess that doesn’t apply when you’re not saying anything, but writing it instead.
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