In June 2015, an organised online defamation campaign began against Iranian queer feminist and writer Shadi Amin. A website claimed that Amin had perpetrated rape, abuse, bullying and money laundering. The website was accompanied by a Facebook page, a Twitter account and an Instagram account, all of which replicated its claims that Amin was guilty of “documented cases of verbal, physical and sexual violation”, that she was corrupt, that she was a homophobe, “anti-male”, and had engaged in an abusive relationship with a “vulnerable refugee” in what constituted an act of “emotional rape.”
The attackers spread these articles about Amin on social media through a number of fake Facebook pages, and emailed them to spaces such as Amnesty International and the BBC.
Amin, who had to leave Iran in 1983 and lives in exile in Germany, found her world turned upside down. She contacted several online platforms – the website host at domain.com, Wikipedia, and all the social networks involved – to find the identity of the person posting these articles. All of this was to no avail.
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