Hate Speech Beda Files Complaint against Sulli Deals App

Many other civil society groups have filed complaints against the creaters of Sulli Deals app in diferent parts of the country

Complaint
Image Source: Twitter

Hate Speech Beda (Campaign Against Hate Speech) a Bangalore based group working towards challenging hate speech and making media spaces online accountable and safer has submitted a complaint to the Police Commissioner and the Deputy Superintendent of Police (Cyber Crime Cell) Bangalore against the makers and users of the app/website ‘Sulli Deals’.

On July 4, an app called ‘Sulli Deals’ was created where pictures of Muslim women picked up from the internet were uploaded. The app which described itself as a ‘community-driven, open-source project’ was hosted by an unknown group on Github. The app offered the user the option ‘Find your sulli deal of the day’ and when selected it would reportedly present the user with the photo of a Muslim woman, along with their name and Twitter handle. It also allowed the user to share it on Twitter.

The application/website in its conceptualisation is built to dehumanise, target, and intimidate the voices of Muslim women. It denies them their fundamental right to privacy and human dignity under Article 21 of the Constitution, the campaign further added.

The letter urged the police to register an FIR under IPC Sections 509 and 509 B, 153 A, Section 67, Information Technology Act, and Section 5 ( c )  Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act so as to intercept them before they create another app/website.

Since the news of the Sulli Deals app got national attention several other groups and individuals have also filed complaints against it. Following a notice issued by Delhi Commission for Women to the Delhi Police and seeking detailed action in the ‘Sulli Deals’ app matter, a complaint was registered by the Cyber Cell of the Delhi Police against an unidentified group in the matter on July 8.

Chinmoy Biswal, Delhi Police PRO,  said that ‘Acting on a complaint received on the National Cybercrime Reporting Portal regarding ‘Sulli Deals’ mobile application, a case under section 354-A of the Indian Penal Code has been registered on Wednesday and investigation taken up,’ The Wire reported.

The Delhi Commission for Women took suo-moto cognisance of the issue four days after it came to light and led to massive public outrage on social media with social media users asking the commission to take action.

The Editor’s Guild of India took notice of the matter and in a public statement said, ‘The vile attack is symptomatic of underlying misogyny in some sections of the society especially against Muslim women as well as those who have been outspoken critics of the current government.’

Pilot Hana Mohsin Khan, one of the Muslim women targeted by the app also filed an FIR in the case.

Hate Speech Beda (Campaign Against Hate Speech) has intervened legally in other instances of hate speech in media and online spaces and further the aim of media accountability. Previously the campaign had sent in complaints against three news channels News18Kannada, AsianetNews, and TimesNow for their hateful coverage of TablighiJamaat and targetting of the Muslim community during the pandemic. Based on their complaints, recently the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) has issued orders against all the three news channels.

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