What is ‘Bulli Bai’, the controversial app targeting Muslim women on social media?

Published on Jan 02, 2022 09:48 AM IST
  • The app was allegedly found auctioning pictures of Muslim women, months after some unidentified persons created a similar app ‘Sulli deals’ where photographs of hundreds of Muslim women were uploaded and auctioned.
Union IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw informed that GitHub has confirmed blocking the user on Saturday morning(HT)
Union IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw informed that GitHub has confirmed blocking the user on Saturday morning(HT)

A controversial app created on a repository hosting service has triggered outrage on social media after photos of Muslim women were uploaded on it without their consent. The app named ‘Bulli Bai’ was allegedly found auctioning pictures of Muslim women, months after some unidentified persons created a similar app ‘Sulli deals’ where photographs of hundreds of Muslim women, sourced from their social media accounts, were uploaded and auctioned. The app was taken down following outrage on social media.

On Saturday, a woman journalist shared an image of her being sold on the Bulli Bai app as ‘deal of the day’. Taking to Twitter, the journalist said it was “very sad that as a Muslim woman you have to start your new year with this sense of fear & disgust.”

“To "sell" someone online is a cybercrime & I call on the police to take immediate action. The perpetrators deserve exemplary & condign punishment,” Congress leader Shashi Tharoor wrote on Twitter.

Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said she has repeatedly asked the Union information technology minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to take stern action against “rampant misogyny and communal targeting of women through #sullideals like platforms.”

‘A shame that it continues to be ignored,” she added.

Photos of Muslim women again misused on app, 2 police complaints filed

Vaishnaw informed that GitHub has confirmed blocking the user on Saturday morning and CERT and Police authorities are coordinating further action. Responding to the minister, Chaturvedi said “besides blocking the platform punishing the offenders creating such sites is important.”

The journalist later filed a complaint with the Cyber Cell of Delhi Police for immediate registration of FIR and consequent action against people behind the auctioning of Muslim women on social media.

"It is indeed disappointing to see the impunity with which such hate mongers continue to target Muslim women, without fear of saction whatsoever. Based on tweets posted on the Delhi Police handle, I believe that Delhi police has 'taken cognizance' of this offence," the complaint read.

Delhi Police have registered an FIR under sector 509 of the Indian Penal Code on the complaint of the woman journalist. FIR has been registered in the Cyber Police station of the South East district, reported news agency ANI.

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