Do you remember the Sarahah app? Well, the app that was developed in Saudi Arabia and launched a year ago did become an instant success. Reports further suggested that around 300 million users created accounts and the app even topped Apple's App Store in several countries. Talking about the app, Sarahah allowed users to receive anonymous constructive feedback from other users.
However, since its launch, the app has been a topic of debate for many and the app itself has had a mixed run among the users. And now, according to BBC Trending, the popular anonymous messaging app has been permanently removed from both the Apple and Google store.
The app has been removed after accusations that it had been facilitating cyberbullying. A petition was created by an Australia-based woman whose daughter had received abusive messages on the app.
Katrina Collins was shocked to see the messages that her 13-year-old daughter had received. The message contained extremely offensive note.
After witnessing such bad practice within the app, she put up a viral petition on online petition site Change.org. The petition was against Sarahah and stated that the app was facilitating "bullying" and "self-harm". The app had become a breeding ground for hate. The petition soon gained close to 470,000 supporters.
And now the app has been removed from both the Apple and Google stores. While it is obvious that the companies have taken action in response to the petition, Google and Apple have not provided any official statements. Google spokesperson has told BBC, "we don't comment on specific apps."
Meanwhile, people behind the Sarahah app have denied the allegations and they have further stated that the app is not to be used by young teenagers. Zain-Alabdin Tawfiq, the CEO, and developer of Sarahah has refuted Collins' move. According to BBC Trending, he has expressed that the decision to remove the app was "unfortunate". The company is "very optimistic about reaching a favorable understanding with Google and Apple soon."
Tawfiq has also assured that the company has improved its filtering system and that it will sort any offensive messages through "artificial intelligence and machine learning" thereby stopping the message from being sent.
At the moment, if anyone wants to download the app it will not be found on Android's Google Play or Apple Store and even in searches. Users who already have the app can use it though.