Bulli Bai: Muslim girls once more discover themselves ‘bought’ on GitHub-hosted web page

The web site was created on GitHub, an American coding platform which builders use to construct and host software program. It was known as “Bulli Bai,” a phrase that mixes vulgar slang for the phrase “penis” in southern India with a phrase frequent in northern India that means “maid,” based on Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of Indian fact-checking web site Alt Information.

He advised CNN Enterprise that the positioning posted photographs of 100 Muslim girls, and that he had taken screenshots of all of them earlier than they have been deleted.

The web page has since been eliminated, and there is no indication that it had any sensible use past utilizing a pretend public sale to harass and troll Muslim girls.

GitHub, which is owned by Microsoft (MSFT), mentioned it had taken down an account.

“GitHub has longstanding insurance policies in opposition to content material and conduct involving harassment, discrimination, and inciting violence,” a spokesperson mentioned. “We suspended a person account following the investigation of studies of such exercise, all of which violate our insurance policies.”

In keeping with Zubair — who helps police with the investigation — the web page included photographs of Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai and outstanding Indian actress Shabana Azmi. A number of journalists and activists within the nation additionally posted screenshots of the positioning after discovering their photographs listed subsequent to the phrases, “Your Bulli Bai of the Day is.”

The web page brought about outrage on Twitter over the weekend. Politicians from opposition events urged the ruling Bharatiya Janata Social gathering (BJP) to take motion in opposition to the net harassment and concentrating on of Muslim girls.

“To ‘promote’ somebody on-line is a cybercrime and I name on the police to take rapid motion,” tweeted Congress chief Shashi Tharoor. “The perpetrators deserve exemplary & condign punishment.”

On Sunday, India’s expertise minister Ashwini Vaishnaw tweeted that the federal government “is working with police organizations in Delhi and Mumbai on this matter.”
“The whole web site appears to have been designed with the intent of embarrassing and insulting Muslim girls,” wrote journalist Ismat Ara in a grievance filed with Delhi Police cybersecurity authorities. Ara, who discovered her picture on the positioning, tweeted a replica of her police grievance.
This is not the primary time Muslim girls in India have confronted this type of on-line harassment. Final July, photographs of greater than 80 Muslim girls — together with journalists, writers and influencers — have been posted on a mock app known as Sulli Offers, a derogatory time period for Muslim girls sometimes utilized by right-wing Hindu males. Customers have been supplied an opportunity to “purchase” the ladies like commodities in an public sale on the positioning, which was additionally hosted on GitHub.

At the moment, Muslim girls advised CNN that the net abuse they’re dealing with is indicative of the temper towards Muslims in India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist BJP got here to energy in 2014.

In recent times, studies of anti-Muslim hate crimes have elevated, and a number of BJP-ruled states have handed laws that critics say has contributed to an increase in spiritual polarization.

This weekend, a Twitter person Hiba Bég mentioned that her photos have been utilized in each cases. “I’ve censored myself, I hardly converse right here anymore, however nonetheless, I’m being bought on-line, I am being made ‘offers’ out of,” she tweeted. “What number of on-line offers will it take for us to see motion?”

— Esha Mitra, Rhea Mogul and Swati Gupta contributed to this report.