At the call of a certain Sofia Talouni, a Moroccan transsexual personality, several homosexuals have been the target since mid-April in Morocco of a vast online denunciation campaign. This influencer, followed by more than 500,000 people on her Instagram account, invited her subscribers to create fake men profiles on gay dating applications, with the sole aim of revealing the names and photos of regular users. “She said, ‘With geolocation, maybe there will be a person [homosexuelle] next to you, it can be your brother, your father, your grandfather ‘”, tells franceinfo Hicham Tahir, a Moroccan journalist working in France.
“I had to receive a hundred testimonies from people who were victims or direct witnesses of this campaign”, Confides the journalist. “But surely there have been many more“, he sighs. Personal information revealed by malicious internet users quickly made the rounds of Moroccan social networks in this country where homosexuality is punished up to three years in prison.
“Some people risk losing their jobs, there are landlords who have thrown away their tenant, explains Hicham Tahir. During the period of confinement, they cannot be protected. “ “We are talking about several suicides, but so far only one case has been verified [par un média marocain] as directly linked to this campaign “, explains the journalist, who had relayed the drama on his Twitter account.
Grindr, one of the most used gay dating apps in Morocco, quickly responded by alerting users when the service started. “Fortunately, there is a kind of community that has been created […] and that helps remove profiles that share photos of LGBT people “explains Hicham Tahir, who deplores the inaction of the Moroccan government. LGBT rights associations in Morocco believe that “serious consequences” of this campaign will be feared when the country comes out of the decree contained in the face of the Covid-19 epidemic.