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Sarahah is a social media app created by Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq of Saudi Arabia in 2016 that allows users to send anonymous messages. "Sarahah" in Arabic stands for honesty or candor.
Sarahah was initially designed as a platform for employees to anonymously provide employer feedback. Still, it quickly gained popularity among young people as an anonymous messaging system for sending anonymous notes between friends or crushes. Sarahah quickly went viral across the Middle East and North Africa before rapidly spreading to other parts of the globe.
By August 2017, Sarahah had amassed over 300 million users worldwide, with 85% being under 24. Sarahah quickly gained immense popularity among teenagers and young adults in the United States, where millions downloaded it at once.
Sarahah has proven a contentious app due to its potential for cyberbullying and harassment. Some users have used it to send abusive or threatening messages directly to others via the app, leading many people to call for it to be banned altogether.
As a response, the developer of this app added new features that allowed users to block specific individuals and report offensive content, but due to ongoing controversy, it suffered significant user disengagement, eventually leading to it being removed from app stores in 2018.
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