Female TikTokers targeted by men and state in Egypt

There is an organised crackdown targeting women active on TikTok platform in Egypt. Popular female TikTok personalities, Haneen Hossam and Mawada Eladhm, faced charges for assaulting ‘family principles and values’ and for creating and managing ‘special kinds of online accounts’. Charges were made under the ‘Anti-Cyber and Information Technology Crimes’ law. Few other individuals, female and male, have been charged for possessing unauthorised and illegal software ‘used to facilitate committing these crimes’, and for publishing materials to influence public opinion about the case. Early July, a group of activists launched an online campaign demanding the immediate release of all women arrested on debauchery charges. The process starts with men creating YouTube content bullying female users whose online posts and content do not align with their moral stance. It serves as a justification to call for violence against these women. The public prosecutor then acts upon reports made by these same men and issues an arrest warrant. Egypt’s Minister of Interior, Mahmoud Tawfik, issued ‘strict instructions’ to the Ministry of Interior’s General Department for the Protection of Moral Values and Information Technology to monitor social media accounts for any content that ‘harms or offends public morals, family sanctity, the traditions of society or otherwise promotes debauchery’, which led to multiple arrests of TikTok users.