Bulli Bai controversy: Everything you need to know about the social media app that targets Muslim women

DELHI, NEW DELHI: Almost six months after a derogatory ‘Sulli Deals’ site that allegedly uploaded photos of women for auction without their consent surfaced on the hosting platform ‘GITHUB,’ a new mobile application called Bulli Bai targeting Muslim women has emerged.

The ‘Bulli Bai’ controversy erupted on January 1 after some influential women active on social media, particularly from the Muslim community, complained that their doctored photos had been uploaded for sale online on the Github hosting platform.

Several women, including journalists, social workers, students, and well-known figures, filed complaints against the Buli Bai, demanding strict action against its creators.

According to the investigation conducted by the Mumbai Cyber Cell and the Delhi Police, hundreds of Muslim women were listed for “auction” on the app, with photographs sourced without permission and doctored.

What did the Bulli Bai app do?

The app featured doctored images of powerful Muslim women with the derogatory tagline “Sulli deal of the day.” It should be noted that ‘Sulli’ is a derogatory term for women. The app’s creators would use photos illegally obtained from the women’s social media accounts to persuade people to participate in the “auction.”

“Bulli Bai” was also promoted on Twitter by a handle called @bullibai, which displayed a picture of a “Khalistani supporter” and stated that women could be booked through the app.

The Bulli Bai app appeared to be a knockoff of Sulli Deals, which sparked a similar controversy last year. When the door was opened, a Muslim woman’s face was displayed at random as Bulli Bai. Muslim women with a strong Twitter presence, including journalists, have been singled out and their photos have been uploaded.

Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi brought the matter to the attention of IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw via Twitter. Chaturvedi stated that she has raised the matter with Mumbai Police and has demanded that the perpetrators be apprehended as soon as possible.

Having taken note of the situation, the Information and Technology Ministry has taken swift action against the Bulli Bai app’s creators, and the Delhi Police has filed a FIR in this regard.

According to reports, Delhi Police registered a case based on a complaint filed by a female journalist alleging that she was being targeted by an unidentified group of people on a mobile application called ‘Bulli Bai,’ which was created on the GitHub platform.

According to Delhi Police, a FIR has been registered under Section 509 at the Cyber Police station in the South-East district. This came six months after the Delhi Police opened an investigation into photos of Muslim women being uploaded and “auctioned” on the Github app.

Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw took to Twitter to announce that action had been taken, that the GitHub user behind the “Bulli Bai” app had been blocked, and that “further action” was being planned.

“This morning, GitHub confirmed that the user had been blocked. Further action is being coordinated by the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) and police authorities “Vaishnaw responded to Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi’s tweet.

According to Delhi Police, a woman filed a complaint at the Cyber police station on Sunday, alleging that her photo was uploaded on a website to target her.

The complainant stated that she was seeking the immediate filing of a FIR and the launch of an investigation into unknown individuals who are harassing and insulting Muslim women on social media and the internet.

The police had previously stated that the matter had been taken into consideration and that concerned officials had been directed to take appropriate action. According to her complaint, the woman was shocked to discover that a website/portal “had a doctored picture of me in an improper, unacceptable, and clearly lewd context.”

“Misogynist sections of society cannot use social media, which is a form of public expression, to denigrate and derogate women in general, and Muslim women in particular. This is nothing short of online harassment, and the tweet in question is a criminal offence in and of itself “She stated.

“The ‘Github’ hosting platform is violent, threatening, and designed to instil fear and shame in my mind, as well as the minds of women in general, and the Muslim community, whose women are being targeted in this heinous manner. In fact, this website has also targeted other Muslim women “According to the complainant.

Opposition leaders have also condemned the act and urged the government and the Delhi Police to take firm action. “It is intolerable that this dangerous anti-Muslim misogyny project has returned. The appalling indictment of the current state of affairs is that not only was nothing done the last time, but these forces felt emboldened to repeat the whole thing because the establishment supported them “Karti Chidambaram, a member of the Congress Party, took to Twitter.

“Disgusting. Authorities’ inaction has emboldened these criminals. Please investigate and take strict action, Ashwini Vaishnaw, National Commission for Women, and Delhi Police,” AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said.

“In rage and solidarity with Ismat Araa, Samreen, and other Muslim women being subjected to vile online “auctions” by rape-minded Sanghi filth,” said Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Kavita Krishnan. Inaction by the police on #sullideals has emboldened the terrorists to resurface as #bullibai.”

The National Commission for Women (NCW) also took suo moto action against the “defunct website called ‘Sulli Deals.'”

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