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Social media sites should be held accountable for women's safety: IT minster on Bulli Bai controversy

Social media sites should be held accountable for women's safety: IT minster on Bulli Bai controversy
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Social media companies should be made accountable for the safety of women on their platforms, said Union Minister for Information and Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw in Rajya Sabha.  

Vaishnaw responded to queries regarding the Bulli Bai app controversy which was raised by BJP MP Sushil Kumar Modi.  

The Bulli Bai app triggered a controversy after images of women from a particular community were up on the app for auction. The application was hosted on open-source repository GitHub.   

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Vaishnaw also alleged that the government was hindered from brining in stronger laws in on the internet by the opposition, who said that stronger social media guidelines would hamper freedom of expression.  

Social media site Twitter also came under immense backlash for hosting tweets relating to the Bulli Bai app, and another similar application called as the Sulli Deals app, which was also hosted on GitHub.  

The developer of the Sulli Deals app, Aumkareshwar Thakur, allegedly used Twitter to converse with fellow criminals on how to create the application and defame Muslim women.  Similarly, the “Bulli Bai” app was created by Niraj Bishnoi, who revealed during police interrogation that he spread details about the application and exchanged ideas through group discussions on various social media platforms.  

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In another shocking incident from the United States, a 43-year-old woman alleged that she was gang-raped virtually on Meta’s virtual reality platform Horizon Worlds. The woman alleged that four male avatars sexually assaulted her, along with verbal insults.  

In September 2021d, Twitter wrote in a blog post that it had rolled out features and settings to a certain “safety mode” which aimed to reduce disruptive interactions. It was in beta testing and was rolled out to a small group of users. Twitter said that the mode will temporarily block accounts for seven days that use potentially harmful language, and also accounts that send repetitive and uninvited replies or mentions.