Cyberbullying Among Teens
New apps are providing fertile ground for cyberbullying among teens.
Following the success of platforms like Ask.fm, Curious Cat, Yik Yak, Whisper and Secret, 2 new so-called “honesty apps” Sarahah & TBH (shorthand for “to be honest”) enable users to provide anonymous feedback about individuals. The apps provide a ready platform for cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is an increasingly significant public health problem that is especially pronounced in girls and LGBTQ youth. Cyberbullying can lead to serious negative social, mental, and physical effects.
The potential for abuse by youth and teens of so-called “honesty apps” is clear.
While TBH is reportedly heavily-moderated, critics fear that its requirement that the app be permitted to access users’ location and contacts makes the app unsafe for young users.
Sarahah is reported to be breeding harassment.
One user review commented “My friend who is suicidal is getting messages like why are u still alive kill urself already.”
Sarahah was one of the most downloaded iPhone apps in the U.S. in August.