(NBC News) A new app designed to provide an anonymous platform for feedback among adults is gaining popularity with teens…and cyberbullies.
Sarahah was designed as a way to “get honest feedback from your coworkers and friends.” The app allows users to send anonymous messages.
“That leaves room for lots and lots of problems because anonymity is a license to be mean,” warns Quinnipiac University professor Rich Hanley.
Cyberbullying can occur on any social media site.
According to a recent study 70 percent of kids ages 12 to 17 say they have seen it happen.
“When we see this cruelty online we have to step up and step in and start saying ‘Hey this isn’t right’,” says author Sue Scheff.
Scheff, author of “Shame Nation,” says bystanders can make a big difference.
Instead of ignoring cyberbullying, major social media sites have options for reporting online abuse and even muting or blocking users. Some students are even countering with a trend of cyber-encouragment.
“We have to start instilling that kindness with our own keystrokes,” Scheff says.
Parents also play a role in monitoring their childs’ online activity, especially when it comes to apps like “Sarahah.”