Anonymous messaging service sparks cyber bullying concerns

- A controversial app is raising a lot of concerns. It's called Sarahah. The creators of the anonymous messaging service say it allows you to give "honest feedback." However, there's already been reports of bullying as it becomes more popular with teens.

"Well it's scary."

It's how Bridget Plenn feels about a brand new app called Sarahah.

The latest in the world of anonymous messaging tech. She wonders if it will contribute to the cyber bullying epidemic as she watches her 11-year-old son Andrew play baseball in Northeast Philadelphia.

"My son is very sensitive I feel like for his age. He's always worried about what people think of him and he always wants to you know, be friends," she told FOX 29.

Sarahah is Arabic for "candor" or "openness"and shot to the top of Apple's App Store and Google Play. It started as a Middle East website for workers to anonymously critique their companies but it's rising popularity amongst kids using it to rate each other on everything from appearance to their latest post on social media. The app has even been reportedly linked to harassment online making kids vulnerable to digital bullying.

"We're not at the end of the development of all of this stuff in the 21st Century. This is the century of enormous change," Dr. Farley said.

Dr. Frank Farley is a Temple University professor and past president of the American Psychological Association. He says parents need to be tuned in.

"Go online, take a look for teenage depression, suicide ideation, suicide indicators, and as a parent get on top of that. In this era, you have to," he said.

We reached out to the creator of the app for a comment we have not heard back at this time.

 

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