We call ourselves progressives. But are we really? The recent incidents of online auction of Indian Muslim women on the infamous Bulli Bai app tell a completely different story. Unfortunately, this is not the first time something like this has happened to the women of our country.
Remember the Sully Deal? To recall, pictures of Muslim women were uploaded to an app using the open-source platform GitHub about six months ago. Similarly, in a recent incident, photographs of women (especially Muslims) were put up for auction on an app called Bulli Bai, which is no longer available.
‘Today’s your Bulli Bai is….’
In the past few days, several Indian Muslim women have complained that their photos are listed for sale on the said app. One of them was Khadija Khan, a Bar and Bench journalist.
While we all started 2022 on a positive note, things were not the same for Khan. Sharing his experience, he told BGR.in, “On New Year’s Eve I received a notification that I have been tagged in a tweet by some ‘Khalsa warrior’…”.
“I had a LinkedIn picture on it. I reported and blocked it thinking it was a malicious bot or something but later I understood what it meant,” she added.
“I didn’t mention it to anyone on the first day. The other day I told my family and colleagues and they said they would support me if I wanted to take action. So, at present, we are going ahead with how to go about it,” revealed Khan.
The account and post have been removed from Twitter and the GitHub link has also been removed.
“Even in the Sully Deal case last year there were no arrests and now this has come,” Khan said. He believes that “if only strict action had been taken, we would not be in the position we are in today”.
Khan is currently planning to take necessary action against the culprit. “I have spoken to my lawyer, and we have decided to take action. We are currently in the process of filing a formal complaint,” she said.
They believe that adopting a zero tolerance policy for such behavior and deleting accounts targeting women would be a good step to curb such incidents in future.
What cyber security experts suggest
Cyber security experts believe that while the incident has taken a political turn regarding Muslim women and their safety, it can happen to any woman in the country, irrespective of their religion.
talking to bgr.inSatyajit Sinha, Senior Analyst, IoT Analytics says that it is difficult to curb such incidents as we are all on the internet all the time. He said these are “fraudulent auctions” conducted by cybercriminals to trick users into stealing money.
He says this trick is nothing new. “I remember when Tinder was launched, cyber criminals used to steal photos of women from Facebook to trick users for money by creating fake accounts,” recalls Sinha.
To deal with the occurrence of such incidents, Sinha is of the view that “the government should put in place some scrutiny process for these apps, which should include the process of checking whether the app is genuine or not.” He also highlighted that scammers mostly use Google Play Store to list such apps as Apple’s App Store is developed with very strict guidelines.
Internet users are said to be one of the reasons behind incidents like Bulli Bai. Sinha says, “Social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and others provide options to keep our profile private, but unfortunately most of us do not use such tools and then complain of data leaks ”
“In most cases, these cybercriminals look for data that is readily available on the Internet. Therefore, users should make sure to keep their profile private and add people or followers they know personally,” he said.
The post ‘Your bully by the day….’: Woman shares how she was put up for sale online, first appeared on BGR India.