The internet is a wondrous place. There is no doubt that it amazes people in its own way. Recently a messaging app named ‘Sarahah‘ has become very popular and has become one of the trendiest iPhone and Android apps in the past couple of weeks. It allows its users to sign up to receive anonymised, outspoken messages from other Sarahah users. As for me, I hardly care what people say/think about me but ever since the app came out it’s been driving people nuts. However despite all these facts today we are going to talk about how does Sarahah work? And why you should think twice before using this app.

This app was built by a Saudi developer Zain al-Abidin Tawfik named after the Arabic word for freakness or candor. It was first launched in early February this year. By the end of the month, BBC reported the app already had 2.5 million users in Egypt, 1.7 million in Tunisia, and 1.2 million in Saudi Arabia. Sarahah arrived in Apple’s App Store in June and, in the last few days, has skyrocketed to No. 1 among the App Store’s top free apps. It is actually a social network which lets you send & receive anonymous messages. Though it’s hard to tell much from it’s website, on the description page of the app, it says: “Sarahah helps you in discovering your strengths and areas for improvement by receiving honest feedback from your co-workers and your friends in a private manner.” Thenceforth the app came out it has received a lot of mixed response from the users, with its App store reviews describe it as “a breeding ground for hate”. Well some people are using it on a lighter note, there are many others who are using it as a platform of cyber bully. The app has so far gone viral growing at a faster rate, and now being browsed in the “top downloads” charts in more than 30 countries via Apple’s App Store with 10 million downloads in just two months and also relatively trending on Google’s Play Store – now recording a total of over 300 million users.

Sarahah front page

Are you also one of those 300 million users? Well, think again before installing this app. Apart from honest feedback and anonymous comments, the app has been doing much more than that. Sarahah’s anonymous nature is under the scanner. Some reports making rounds on the internet claim that the app may steal everyone’s secret identity. From the moment such reports started to appear on the web, people are scared. They are looking forward to somehow delete their Sarahah account and remove all data or messages that they have sent out to others. But, sadly, something that has gone out on the internet once can never be removed. Similar is the case with Sarahah. So, the question that’s bothering every user, will Sarahah really reveal their identity?

Well, you heard it right. Yes, it will. But, that’s only under a certain situation. The founder of the app — ZainAlabdin Tawfiq in an exclusive interview with the India Today Group said that they may reveal the identity of the sender if required. He notes that Sarahah is designed with strict privacy policy and promises to keep user data confidential. But, that’s only to a certain limit. In their privacy policy the website mentions, “Sarahah won’t disclose the identity of the logged-in senders to users except with their consent.”

If you compare it with Whatsapp, Sarahah is not end-to-end encrypted like WhatsApp which means messages sent out via WhatsApp will never be revealed at any given cost. Well, for Sarahah it is opposite.

What do you think about this new internet storm. Let us know in the comment section below.

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