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Popular Sarahah app taken off Google & Apple stores following a petition

Sarahah was supposedly an app to provide “honest feedback” to one’s friends and colleagues. Developed by Saudi programmer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, Sarahah means "honesty" in Arabic

March 05, 2018 / 06:50 PM IST

A change.org petition seeking to remove the wildly popular Sarahah app which allowed people to comment anonymously about their friends has reached its goal. The app was removed after it was accused that it felicitated bullying.

Katrina Collins who started the petition following her 13-year-old daughter had received messages to kill herself gained momentum and it received close to 4.7 lakh signatures from across the world.

“I have been scared, broken and sick to my stomach ever since I read messages about my 13-year-old daughter including, “I hope SHE KILLS HERSELF. Seriously nobody will care”. No one, especially our youth, should have to read messages like this about them,” she wrote in the petition.

Sarahah was supposedly an app to provide “honest feedback” to one’s friends and colleagues. Developed by Saudi programmer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, Sarahah means "honesty" in Arabic. The app lets anybody with a user’s profile link send an anonymous message. While one could read the messages, one could not reply to them.

Tawfiq, however, disputed Colin’s claim and said that the decision by Apple and Google to remove the app was "unfortunate", but is "very optimistic about reaching a favourable understanding with them soon."

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He also said that the app had a filtering mechanism which didn’t let offensive messages reach to their intended receiver, However, Collins refuted the claim.

There were several reports from India as well which highlighted its misuse. Even the reviews on the app page included users warning parents to forbid their children from using the apps. Many had written that racist and misogynist comments were passed along with lewd body-shaming messages.

Reportedly, the app was also accused of uploading its users' contact list on the company’s servers despite, as seen in the app, there was no such feature that the app offered which required contact details.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 5, 2018 06:50 pm

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