The ‘Honesty’ App

Maddie Landers @maddielanders22

It is 2018 and cell phones are a teen’s best friend. In fact, it is where they reach their thousands of closest friends and where their friends reach them. However, not everything received is always friendly. Portrait of Woman Photographing With Smart PhoneWith a multitude of popular social media mediums from Facebook, to Instagram, to Snapchat and beyond, perhaps one of the easiest apps for cyber bullying to occur is the up and coming app Sarahah.

In class, we learned that bullying takes place in private and is primarily fueled by anonymity. Sarahah  combines both of these ingredients making it a recipe for cyberbullying. Sarahah allows teens to anonymously send messages to each other and while the app states it is there to encourage ‘constructive criticism’ (mirror.co.uk), it cannot be denied that this is a platform ideal for bullies to make comments from the privacy of their own home with complete anonymity.

adult, apple, communication

Worried for their teens, parents are requesting a ban of the app, as it has brought the risk of self harm and suicide along with its platform. This push is in part coming from the mother of child star ‘Dolly’ who committed suicide after receiving hateful comments online.

Here is a link to a video talking more about Dolly.

Anonymity is more available to children today than ever and with that, the risk of bullying continues to be present.

Maddie Landers @maddielanders22

This Article Has 7 Comments
  1. Rita Herbstman says:

    Maddie – I love your approach to this blog post. It is different than the posts from previous weeks. This app sounds like a recipe for disaster, reminds me of Formspring and Ask.fm. My middle school banned websites like these, I hope it happens with Sarahah too.

  2. Justin Hanes says:

    Interesting reflection on what we’ve learned in class. I agree with what you’ve written about how cyberbullying has increased because of apps like Sarahah. I will admit that I’ve tried to use this app, but it doesn’t fit my brand or generation. It reminded me a lot of Formspring when people would ask questions. These anonymous platforms are definitely increasing, and I don’t think that they benefit anything but a middle-school relationship.

  3. Kyra Barker says:

    This is such an interesting blog post, Maddie! I think it’s so crazy that as a society we still allow for such harmful apps to be used. Back when we were growing up people would use Formspring and that would instantly get out of hand. Also, when I was in high school the app yik yak was growing and people loved using it. My school got shut down for a couple days because some kid put out a bomb threat on there. Mixing privacy and anonymity is not a smart move, when will app developers learn?

  4. Jordyn Volk says:

    This is such an interesting and relevant topic to write a post on. As a culture, we’ve become almost obsessed with the idea of becoming a different person online. I personally know even my online persona is slightly different than who I really am. Everyone has created two or more versions of themselves, but when given the chance to become completely anonymous, it can bring out an unsavory version. We need to stop creating outlets where people can say whatever they want without consequences.

  5. Lauren Muniz says:

    What an interesting article, Maddie. I’ve actually never heard of this app but the aspect of anonymity and the perceived risks reminds me of older social platforms such as Formspring, where users had the option to ask questions anonymously and leave comments. I do remember it was a platform notoriously known for bullying. The concept of anonymity, especially within the context of social media, is kind of scary. It definitely emboldens people because there’s no accountability. With that said, I feel like this app is definitely the modern day Formspring.

  6. Zach Rosen says:

    I had literally never even heard of Sarahah before this post. This was posted like six weeks ago so it’s possible it’s no longer a relevant app, but if so I just don’t see the appeal. Anonymity tends to breed hate and bullying, so why give people such an easy platform? This seems like the kind of thing where it was obvious immediately that this was going to be problem, but not much could be done about it. At the same time however, you kind of have to know what you’re signing up for if you’re using something like this.

  7. Lola Butcher says:

    This article was really eye opening, Maddie! I haven’t read a lot of posts like this one, bringing this issue into the light. The idea of anonymity often times promotes hate when it comes to social media creating a barrier between people. I agree with what you wrote about cyberbullying, the concept of the app itself has potential but in a world in which we live it becomes too complex for people to actually use the app for what its for.

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