GitHub shutters site ‘auctioning’ Muslim women for online abuse
By Ivan Mehta
2 - 3 minutes
Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."
Earlier this week, GitHub took down a hateful site that targeted Muslim women and put them on sale. The website, named Sulli Deals, is a derogatory term used for Muslim women.
The site first came to notice on Sunday, but there’s no information yet on who made it. The website was active for at least 20 days before it was taken down on Monday, and had photos of more than 90 women on it.
Somebody made an app of 'Sulli Deals' which has twitter handle of so many Muslim girls. You are one tap away from finding the girl as your deal.That app has our pictures and our names.
Didn't check Twitter last night. Woke up this morning to realise my name, along with those of many other Muslim women was up on GitHub as a list of "Sulli Deals". Thankfully by the time I came across it, it had been taken down. But just the screenshots sent shivers down my spine. pic.twitter.com/CGXivEyjyC
In a statement, GitHub said that its policy bars content that targets a community:
GitHub has longstanding policies against content and conduct involving harassment, discrimination, and inciting violence. We suspended user accounts following the investigation of reports of such activity, all of which violate our policies.
This is the second incident this year involving targeting Muslim women online before Eid. In May, during Eid-ul-Fitr, a YouTube channel named Liberal Doge live-streamed photos of Muslim women while ‘rating’ and ‘auctioning them. As Newslaundry noted, the owner of the channel, Ritesh Jha, also runs other YouTube channels and Telegram groups spreading hate content. There hasn’t been any penal action taken against Jha.
It’s also worrisome that this occurrence adds numbers to other similar incidents, when Muslim women — including journalists, actors, and activists — on the South Asian internet have been targeted repeatedly.