unapologetic

Influencer who led campaign to out gay men has “no regrets” even after one victim dies by suicide

Transgender beauty influencer Sofia Taloni (aka Naofal Moussa) encouraged people in her home country of Morocco to create fake profiles on gay dating apps and out closeted men in their communities. Now, at least one of those men has died by suicide, and Taloni couldn’t care less.

Quick backstory: Speaking to her 627,000 followers on Instagram earlier this month, Taloni instructed people to create fake profiles and identify themselves as “bottoms” to make themselves more appealing to closeted men. After collecting their pics, she told them to circulate the images on Facebook to try and learn their identities. As a result, gay dating apps in Morocco were flooded with new users.

Related: Awful influencer encourages people to make fake Grindr profiles to out gay men

Now, reporter Hicham Tahir reports on Twitter that a friend of a friend took his own life after having his identity published at Taloni’s direction. The 21-year-old had been studying in France but returned to Morocco to stay with his family during the coronavirus pandemic.

His mother “didn’t understand why her son killed himself”, Tahir wrote in French on Twitter.

 

In Morocco, homosexuality is punishable with up to three years in prison. LGBTQ people have no legal protections and are often subjected to harassment and physical violence. 

After posting the video, Taloni has her Instagram account suspended. Now, in an interview with The Moroccan Times, she says she sorta “feels bad” about what happened but she ultimately doesn’t regret it.

Related: One Gay Tourist’s Harrowing Account Of Being Yanked Off The Streets Of Morocco And Thrown In Prison

“In all honesty, I did not want to out them, but they started this war,” she quips. “The Moroccan gay community shared my profile on many Facebook groups and were encouraging people to report me so that my account gets deactivated.”

She adds, “They were outing me, out of jealously, because I am successful on various social media platforms and Moroccans started sympathizing with me. They put my life at risk.”

Taloni says that she “feels bad” for outed LGBTQ people who were just “living their lives normally” and “did nothing against me,” but “the other ones that reported me, I have no regrets whatsoever.”

Related: Hours after outing man on Facebook live, woman found dead on side of the road