In her letter, Chaturvedi claimed that women from a particular community had been humiliated and humiliated by the Sulli Deals app, which saw massive online outrage last month.
Almost a month after the Sulli Deals app became known, MP Priyanka Chaturvedi from Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha wrote to Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw urging him to take “urgent and strict measures” on this matter.
In her letter sent on Friday, Chaturvedi stated that “no real progress” had been made on the case, despite complaints received by both Noida and Delhi police. MediaNama has viewed a copy of Chaturvedi’s letter.
Why is it important? Beginning of July, news announced that an application developed on Git-Hub called “Sulli Deals” is auctioning Muslim women online and attaching their Twitter usernames and profile pictures without their consent. This, the victims said, made them the target of widespread online harassment, including threats of rape, and subject them to humiliation. The law could be subject to action under the Government’s Information Technology Guidelines (Intermediaries Guidelines and Digital Media Code of Ethics) of 2021, which require intermediaries to voluntarily remove content that “offends or harasses” the sex.
According to a report Last week, three weeks after complaints were filed with the Noida and Delhi police on the matter, there was no progress and GitHub did not respond to police requests for information.
“Reveals the protection and safety of women, especially in cyberspace”: Chaturvedi
Aside from a call to action, Chaturvedi said in her letter that-
- The purpose of the app (Sulli Deals) was to demean and humiliate women belonging to a particular community.
- Some of the women have since deleted their social media accounts and many others said they were afraid of further harassment.
- In a country where women are already grappling with gender bias, these incidents again expose the protection and safety of women, especially in cyberspace.
- The lack of strict and efficient prevention laws and penalties for such cases only motivates the perpetrators.
Steps to Combat Sexual Harassment on the Internet
- According to the IT rules that came into force in May of this year, social media intermediaries such as Twitter, Facebook, Koo etc. must remove offensive or harassing content based on gender.
- The Indian Criminal Code Section 509 contains provisions that include “words or deeds intended to upset the modesty of a woman”. There can be a one-year prison sentence, or a fine, or both.
- In July the government did announced that it started the National Cyber Crime Reporting portal to allow the public to report incidents relating to all types of cybercrime, with a particular focus on cybercrime against women and children.
- Recently, at the UN Forum on Generational Equality in Paris on July 1st, Facebook, Google, TikTok and Twitter committed to tackling online abuse of women on their platforms.
A timeline of the Sulli Deals controversy
- 5th July: Response to the indignation against the app on Twitter, GitHub COO Erica Brescia tweets that the account has been blocked.
- July 6th: A woman files a complaint against strangers for allegedly disseminating pictures of several Muslim women without their consent on the GitHub-based application “Sulli Deals”.
- 7th of July: Swati Maliwal, Chair of the Delhi Commission for Women, write a letter to the Deputy Commissioner, Cyber Cell, Delhi Police, for information on the action taken on this matter.
- 8th of July: The National Women’s Commission is of course taking note of the case, and chairwoman Rekha Sharma writes to the Delhi Police Commissioner asking him to inform her of the measures taken in the case within 10 days.
- July 12: A victim was sent a notice to Twitter Inc. demanding, among other things, compensation of Rs 10 lakhs for not taking any action against content related to the “Sulli Deals” app shared on the platform.
- 15th of July: Another complaint is made by a victim to the Delhi Police Department.
- July 26th: Anyesh Roy, DCP (cyber cell) allegedly says: “We sent notifications to GitHub but received no responses. Our team approached you several times, but there was no answer. “
Do you have anything to add? Subscribe to MediaNama and post your comment