(RNN) - Have you heard of Sarahah? If not, you may need to know why its popularity may prove troublesome.
Sarahah means "frankness" or "candor" in Arabic and was developed by a Saudi Arabian programmer as a means for employees to share feedback about their workplaces without fear of retribution.
But that original intent didn't last long. The app is now the most popular download, and can be connected to social media accounts, including SnapChat.
The program was created in 2016 as a website for anonymous comments, but an English version was rolled out in June and that's when things took off.
Users can search the usernames of other users, but when a message is sent, the message appears from Sarahah.com and can't be replied to. That makes it ripe territory for hateful and offensive messages. The app's message interface says to "leave a constructive message :)."
Many reviews for the app in Apple's App Store note the potential for cyber-bullying and note the app's unreliability because it's popularity is outpacing its development. Reviews also complained of the app periodically logging them out.
Another message references that saying "Sorry, our servers are overloaded by honest people. We're working hard to improve your experience."
Messages can be flagged and reported, and future messages from that user can be blocked, though the recipient doesn't know who they are. Once blocked, the messenger can't be unblocked.
Messages can be sent to other users that have been blocked, but when trying to send a message to someone who blocked you the error message "something wrong happened" appears.
The app has also been the target of hoaxers. Several rumors, some coming from satirical websites, allege the app will reveal the identity of its users. The company has responded on Twitter multiple times saying the rumors are false.
The #Sarahah team would like to state that the rumor about "exposing identities on August 1st" is false
— Sarahah (@Sarahah_com) July 28, 2017
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