The internet could be quite a dangerous place for children. They have young, fragile minds and can trust anyone. It’s easy for them to get carried away. While the Blue Whale Challenge has already killed many, apps Sarahah and Yellow, which do not monitor the identity of the person on the other side, pose a threat to kids.
Risks involved in using Sarahah and Yellow apps
What happens when you allow a person to send text messages or comment on a social media app in stealth mode? They can get mean and filthy because they are logged as anonymous. This is a red flag for many app users today. The situation is worse when the recipient is underage since they are not in a position to handle the abuse.
Sarahah and Yellow Apps – Teen Rave
The two new apps, Sarahah and Yellow, are available on the Apple & Google Store and are gaining popularity with teen users. The Sarahah app is used by creating an account and sharing the link on popular social media platforms like Facebook and Snapchat. Anyone can confess anything by commenting on the user’s Sarahah page. The comment remains confidential with the user.
Sarahah – The Honesty App?
This is also dubbed as the honesty app because your social media connections can leave comments on your photos while staying anonymous. It doesn’t have any age restrictions so practically anyone can use the app. The app was primarily designed to reveal your strengths (this is what its marketers say). The app doesn’t allow you to reply to the comment made by the anonymous user. You can only get app logs of your recent activities such as the comments you sent and received; plus those you considered as favorites.
Yellow App – Finders Keepers
The Yellow app can be considered as Tinder For Teens as it allows them to search for their match on a wide selection of perfect strangers by just swiping on the person they like based on their profiles and photos linked via social media accounts. The Yellow app doesn’t have any age verification system, which means teens can actually be talking to people who pretend to be 14 or 15 but are in fact in their 50’s or 60’s; so this is very alarming.
So there are times that teens would send or share lewd or obscene pictures without realizing that they have fallen prey to a pedophile lurking online. There are many sexual predators using the internet, and they could lure kids and teens and then abuse them using this app.
Police Department warned Parents on the dangers of these Apps
The police department in the United States alerted parents and warned them regarding the dangers of using these two apps which do not require any identity or age verification for using it. It becomes a scary scenario especially because anyone can create a profile in an instant and use that to pose as a regular 14- or 15-year-old and then use the location settings to find teenagers close to where they are.
Sarahah which means openness or candor in Arabic is certainly epitomizing the very definition of transparency which abuses the meaning of privacy and the confidentiality clause. People tend to inflict abuse online because they are hiding under the app’s cloak of anonymity.
How to handle the situation as Parents
While law making authorities seem reluctant to regularize these applications, parents could help from their end.
- Understand that these apps do not verify the person at the other end, thus do not let your kids use them.
- Educate your child about its danger. Be open while talking to children.
- Monitor your child’s internet history regularly.
- Remain approachable. Your child should be able to open up about any threat in front of you without fear.
The developers had good intentions of breaking through age and social barriers. It is a social experiment gone wild or wrong because some people used the app as an avenue for hate, name-calling, discrimination, and cyber-bullying of all sorts. Both Sarahah and Yellow were designed to bring socialization to an entirely new level, but it provided a malicious playground for sexual predators and abusive individuals who are on the lookout for teen victims prowling online.
Be aware. Stay safe!