Last Sunday, dozens of Muslim women were put up for sale on an app called “Sulli Deals”. This app and website had used publicly available photos of Muslim women and created profiles that describe women as “deals of the day”.
The app appears to provide users with the chance to purchase a “Sulli,” a disparaging slang term used for Muslim women by right-wing Hindu trolls. There is no real auction; the app’s sole goal is to embarrass and degrade.
Following the complaints, the app was shut down promptly by GitHub, a web platform that hosted the open-source app.
All the women whose details were shared on the app were vocal Muslims, including journalists, activists, artists, or researchers. The women after this incident are left scarred. Some of them even have deleted their social media accounts fearing further harassment.
Some other women who were featured on the app have used social media to call out the “perverts” and pledged to fight. Some of them even filed police complaints.
Hasiba Amin, a social media coordinator for the Congress party, said that this is not the first time that Muslim women have been targeted in this way. On May 13, on the eve of Eid, an “Eid Special” -a live “auction” of Muslim women from India and Pakistan was started by a YouTube channel.
Some people tried to auction Muslim women even on Twitter also. In the past week, several accounts that claimed to be behind the Sulli Deals app and said it would be back soon were suspended by Twitter.
The harassment has also been condemned by prominent individuals, activists, and leaders. The police claimed they had started an inquiry, but declined to say who could be behind the app.
More than 200 influential actors, musicians, journalists, and government officials from around the globe have written an open letter to the CEOs of Facebook, Google, TikTok, and Twitter, urging them to make the safety of women “a priority”.
A last year’s report of Amnesty International on online harassment in India showed that the more vocal women were targeted more. And just like in Britain and the United States, black women were more likely to be targeted, women from religious minorities and disadvantaged castes were harassed more in India.Follow us: