On Wednesday, the electronics and information technology ministry suspended a Telegram channel that reportedly distributed images of Hindu women and offensive statements.
Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Information Technology Minister, acknowledged that the government has shut a Telegram channel that reportedly targeted Hindu women, distributed obscene images, and harassed them online. This comes after the Mumbai Police detained two people in connection with the ongoing Bulli Bai app case, in which Muslim women were targeted and harassed online.
The news comes only days after the launch of the ‘Bulli Bai’ app, which uses images of Muslim professionals and activists to ‘auction’ them off. So far, three people have been detained in connection with the app, which has now been deactivated.
A Twitter user provided an image of the channel, pleading with the Mumbai police to take action against those responsible. Vaishnaw reacted to tweets requesting action on the situation.
In conjunction with the ‘Bulli Bai’ case, the authorities blocked a user’s account on the code-sharing platform GitHub. Similar software was published on GitHub in July of last year.
Bulli Bai and the Telegram group are two sides of the same coin
While some may differentiate the occurrences based on religion, there is no disputing that both target women online and constitute online harassment. The women had no idea how their images had gone viral in both situations. Some scumbags may have stolen photographs from social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and others and created fake profiles or modified their photos.
These photographs were afterward used to abuse women on social media. The religion or social media platform may be different, but the method of operation remains the same.