A fake online auction in India has once again sparked outrage. Pictures of 100 women allegedly for sale have been posted on the platform. Among them are actresses, journalists and influencers. Now the authorities are checking.
A strange act on the Internet has sparked outrage in India: Muslim women have been put up for sale on the fake Polypay. The authorities are now investigating the case.
Fake online auction offers Muslim women for sale
As CNN reported, photos of 100 Muslim women who were due to be sold were posted on the dubious site. Including photos of Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai and Indian actress Shabana Azmi. The purpose of the mock auction is not clear. Since the term “Bulli Bai” combines a vulgar expression of “penis” from southern India with the North Indian word meaning “maid”, misogyny and discrimination can be assumed.
The auction was created online on Github. The page has since been removed. “GitHub has longstanding policies against content and behavior that involves harassment, discrimination, and incitement to violence,” a company spokesperson told CNN. “We have suspended the user’s account after investigating reports of such activity, all of which violate our policies.”
Anti-Muslim hate wave sweeps India – women fight back
The fake auction created a stir on social media. Opposition politicians have called for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to take action against harassment and attacks on Muslim women online. “Selling” someone online is a cyber crime and I urge the police to take immediate action, Congress President Shashi Tharoor wrote on Twitter. The perpetrators deserve punishment.” In recent years, reports of anti-Muslim hate crimes have increased.
Victims file a complaint and defend themselves against misogyny
Several journalists and activists in the country released snapshots of the site after their photos were found next to the phrase “Polic Ho By Today”. “The entire website appears to have been designed with the intent of embarrassing and offending Muslim women,” journalist Esmat Ara wrote in a complaint filed with the Delhi Police’s Cyber Security Agency. Ara, whose photo was found on the site, posted a copy of her announcement on Twitter.
This is not the first time that Muslim women in India have faced this kind of online harassment. Last July, photos of more than 80 Muslim women – including journalists, writers and influencers – were posted on a fake app called “Sulli Deals,” a derogatory term for Muslim women commonly used by right-wing Hindu men. Users had the opportunity to “purchase” women like goods at an auction on the site.
It is sad that as a Muslim woman you have to start your new year with this feeling of fear and disgust. Of course it goes without saying that I’m not the only one targeted in this new version of #sssssssssss. Screenshot a friend sent this morning.
happy New Year. pic.twitter.com/pHuzuRrNXR
– Ismat Ara (@IsmatAraa) January 1, 2022
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