In just two months from the launch of the Sarahah app, it has been creating curiosity and controversy in equal measure. Sarahah is an Arabic term which means ‘honesty’ or ‘frankness’. The app was designed to allow people to send creative messages to each other while remaining anonymous. However, people are using the application to vent their anger, frustration etc. on others. They are even resorting to cyber bulling by comfortably hiding behind the garb of anonymity that Sarahah provides.
We just decided to pull up a list of some of the most controversial apps of our times. Here’s the list. We are sure you will enjoy reading:
Girls Around me: Geolocation-based dating apps such as Tinder have helped singles to find a potential date or match with a simple and now habitual swipe on one’s smartphone screen. However, while these apps were simple, “Girls around me”, as app developed by Russian developers took things a notch higher. The app used the Foursquare API to find female users around your location and display them on a map centred on your location. This enabled users to connect with nearby women through their Facebook profiles. The app brought stalking to literally one’s fingertips. However, Foursquare quickly modified its API so that the app could no longer be used.
Secret SMS Replicator: As Android allows access to the phone’s native functions, the Secret SMS Replicator could be easily installed on a phone of a friend, girlfriend, spouse etc. enabling you to spy on them. Once it’s on, the app enabled to forward all the incoming text messages to your device. It did not last long on the Playstore as it compromised the privacy of users.
Ghetto Tweets: The app scanned the tweets and messages posted on the Twitter account of people living in and around ghettos and ran them through a text filter to urbanize the tweets and messages. It was deemed to be insulting and racist and hence was removed from the app store soon.
Mr. Checkpoint: This app enabled drunk drivers to avoid sobriety checkpoints. The creator of the app, Sennet Devermont, was arrested for drunk driving and so he decided to create a program to help drunk drivers avoid these checkpoints. The rationale given by the app was that it is providing official checkpoint information, safety messages and a help directory.
Door of Hope: The controversial app proclaimed that they could remove the demons causing the “gay lifestyle” from your body and make you straight. It incurred the wrath of many in no time and did not last long on the Appstore.
Telegram: This app is a secure messaging app that can send messages that are fully encrypted and can self-destruct. It is a boon to send a highly sensitive information across a channel that might be prone to spying. This app has been known to be used by governments and by terrorist organizations such as ISIS. ISIS has clearly asked its followers to use this app.
The League: As the name suggests, this dating app is not for all and sundry. “The League” is very selective and only allows users based on certain criteria such as wealth, ivy league degrees etc. One you stake your claim; the app first runs its algorithm to determine whether you are successful enough and eligible to be in “the league”. If the app algorithm clears you, you could then enjoy its features and dating services.
Ashley Madison: The app has courted controversy as it enabled married users to cheat. It allowed married people to search other married people in the area who were open to the idea of cheating and interested in a fling. However, Ashley Madison was in the news as its user accounts and data were compromised.
Lulu: An app to let women objectify men? Well, the makers of Lulu did exactly that. The app lets women to rate and objectify men. It enabled the women to remain anonymous while rating them. The app enabled these women to rate men connected to them on Facebook on a scale of 1 to 10. What’s more, it also enables women to give hashtags with characteristics such as #chiseledjawline
Weed Farmer: The “Weed Farmer” app enables the user to run his own cannabis farm. The user can grow and sell pot and become rich and successful in the trade of marijuana. The game sparked a lot of interest initially and was among the most popular apps on Appstore in a few days from its launch.
Whisper: In school, people want to know all the latest happening, gossips, who’s going around with whom and a lot more. Whisper is an app that enables users to share all this anonymously. It enables the school students to browse secrets around their town and specific to their school.
Faceniff: This dangerous Android App connects to a Wi-Fi access point, accesses all the devices connected to the Wifi and accesses the logged in accounts on social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and even e-commerce sites such as Amazon. It allows the phone user to access personal data of others in the vicinity.
Make Me Asian: This app was deemed to be a racist app immediately after it was live on Playstore in early 2013. It enabled users to import photographs and then add features to it to make the photograph look more Asian. The feature included narrow eyes, yellow skin, moustaches etc. As many users complained about the app, it was pulled down from the Playstore in the same month that it debuted.
Is my son Gay? This app was created to help parents to discover the sexual orientation of their children. It was positioned as a questionnaire which captures parent’s views on their children’s personality, behaviour traits etc. Based on these answers, it could predict if the child was gay or not. This was not a researched or fool-proof way of finding out a person’s sexual orientation. It incurred the ire of many users, especially the LGBT community and was pulled down from the Playstore.
Virus Shield: This controversial app claimed to get your phone rid of any malware or infected programs. It was available for US$3.99. While most users fell for its claim to secure their phones, the app just changed an icon on the screen from “X” to a “checkmark”. Actual scanning of the phone never happened. The scam was exposed in no time and Google pulled it down immediately.
We hope you enjoyed reading about these controversial apps. The next time you hear about similar apps, do some research and due diligence before even downloading it.