“The ‘Sulli Deal’ auction is the latest manifestation of the extreme misogyny and fear of who speaks out. It is revolting and Islamophobic, and an attempt to intimidate and insult the dignity of women,” Seshu says.
“Organised groups use the internet to incite hatred and abuse. The delay in spotting and taking down objectionable content is inexcusable. If this app was hosted on GitHub, it needs to state clearly what its hosting guidelines are. I feel that the tech companies are aware of the problematic content. They do allow its circulation while they pretend ignorance or helplessness. For them, the more the clicks and eyeballs, the more the possibility of monetisation.”
Following these attacks on Muslim women, a group of more than 800 women’s rights organisations and concerned individuals issued a statement condemning the harassment and abuse.
“This is a conspiracy to target women by creating a database of those Muslim women journalists, professionals and students who were actively raising a voice on social media against right-wing Hindutva majoritarianism. The intention is to silence their political participation.
“This attempt to de-humanise and sexualise Muslim women is a systemic act of intimidation and harm. This is not the first time this has happened,” the statement says.