Why an Anonymous Messaging App Might Land you in Trouble
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.If your obstinate boss asks what do you really think of him, being honest and blurting the truth out on his face might not be the best idea. Many people don’t take criticisms positively. That’s where feedback from an anonymous corner serves the purpose without causing any harm to anyone.
Several anonymous feedback apps are now available in Indian markets that allow one to give an honest opinion to friends, family, and even colleagues and office bosses. While many may argue that these apps might invite unnecessary cyber bullying, others are taking this trend as a positive way of introspection and self-correction after receiving suggestions through the app.
Sarahah (an Arabic term which means honesty) App that got everyone talking for the oddest reason has more than 50,000 followers on Facebook.
“Sarahah helps you in discovering your strengths and areas of improvement by sending honest feedback from your employees your friends confidentially,” the app claims.
The application is very popular in Arab countries. First, it was launched in the Urdu Language in February 2017 and in July 2017 it was released in English Language, after which it was downloaded in many countries, including Canada, the US.
The app developed by Zain Alab Din Tawfiq, a computer science engineer and programmer expert, asserted that the identity of the person would be protected for granted.
A Flop Show?
Every year a number of mobile apps keep flooding the markets, but most of them fail to make a mark. Same is the case with maximum anonymous messaging apps. Secret and Yik Yak made an attempt to succeed but got entangled in a controversy and failed. Launched in 2014, Yik Yak was a location-based smartphone application available on iOS and Android, which allowed people to communicate and take part in discussion threads anonymously within a five-mile radius.
One of the biggest controversies around the application was its inherent potential to promote cyber bullying among college and school students. Due to the widespread harassment complaints through Yik Yak, many schools took strict action to ban the app.
In April 2017 the app ceased operating without stating any reason behind it.
Platform for Online Abuse
Another app called Secret was shut down in 2015 as it eventually became a platform for online abuse. On April 29, 2015, Secret’s Founder announced his decision to discontinue with the app, claiming that people were using it in a wrong way, not in line with what he had originally envisioned. Later, the app was removed from the iOS and Android stores.
“With a heavy heart, I’ve decided to shut down Secret, wind-down the company, and return the remaining money,” Founder David Bytoww wrote on Twitter. Based on a similar model, Secret was an iOS and Android app that allowed people to share messages anonymously within their circle of friends, friends of friends, and also publicly. It differed from other anonymous sharing apps like Yik Yak because it was primarily meant to be used among friends, making it potentially interesting and safer.
Cutting Direct Communication?
Sarahah app might also have chances of becoming a platform for cyber bullying because it doesn’t allow users to respond to the comments they receive. But it’s too early to pass a verdict. Also, it’s sad how this anonymous messaging app is cutting direct means of communication in the name of anonymity and is encouraging the trend.