Saturday, January 3, 2015

Doxing poses real dangers to online victims.

By Abigail Clarke: Contributing Content Blogger

A mere days ago I heard about a doxing incident. It wasn't named for what it was in the press of course! You would have to live in a bog to have missed the news. The story involved a situation where a woman claimed to have been gang raped. She took her story to Rolling Stone magazine who decided to publish it. The doxing came about when a blogger dug into the woman’s past finding her real name and other personal information which he used to threaten and intimidate her with. To justify his illegal degree of privacy invasion he claimed to be a vigilante of the truth and told her that he would post her personal information unless she admitted the story was false. He posted the information about her anyway.

Doxing is the activity of obtaining publicly listed or private information about a person to then use as a leverage of threat against them. Yes it was proven that the Rolling Stone story was indeed false, the larger point I want to make is the way which it was exposed. The privacy invasion, pressuring or intimidation of anyone, regardless of their alleged offense, should never be executed in the manner it was in this circumstance. This is cyber harassment in disguise and the blogger a cyber bullying criminal.

I was always taught that two wrongs don’t make a right!  What this blogger achieved was not a win for some kind of good. It was a strong message condoning the practice of ransoming a person’s private information and intimidating them. Using the internet to muscle people about or violate their privacy for your own means or gains, even under some alleged cause, is not an act of integrity or one any of us should applaud. Doxing is a crime and crimes should be punished!