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The Morality of Doxxing

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Anni Simpson

on 24 February 2015

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Transcript of The Morality of Doxxing

Where the Outcome is Good
Earlier this year, two Flo. teenagers abused and killed a tortoise on video. The doxxers, probably different members of /b/ on 4chan.org, used their information to go to the cops.
http://www.dailydot.com/crime/florida-girls-kill-rare-tortoise/

Earlier this year, bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto was doxxed by Newsweek using public records for the "right to know."
http://www.newsweek.com/2014/03/14/face-behind-bitcoin-247957.html
Unintended Consequences
Doxxing
Definition:
to dig out and publish someone's personal, identifying information without their consent.
Intentional Consequences
Last month, members of the forum /b/ on 4chan.org (again, different users), doxxed members of the KKK.
http://www.columbiachronicle.com/opinion/editorial/article_62691cf6-71ec-11e4-9f55-cb980fa4bf32.html

Doxxing Boxxy in 2009
In 2009, Calif. teenager Catie, also known as Boxxy on YouTube, was "doxxed" by members of the image-response forum /b/ on 4chan.org by obsessed members.

They sent her pizzas and stalked her until she moved.
http://boxxystory.blogspot.com/2009/01/fall-of-boxxy.html
The Morality of Doxxing
Kathryn Alexander
Anni Simpson
Dr. Carolyn Miller
Rhetoric of Science and Technology
December 1, 2014
Question:
Is doxxing ever justifiable?
In response to GamerGate, actress and gamer Felicia Day stated she wouldn't comment on the matter for fear of being doxxed. She was doxxed anyway.
http://thisfeliciaday.tumblr.com/post/100700417809/the-only-thing-i-have-to-say-about-gamer-gate
Anita Sarkeesian was doxxed for her feminist film series "Tropes vs Women in Video Games."
http://www.npr.org/2014/10/18/357194775/one-feminist-critics-battle-with-gamings-darker-side


oppression (e.g., feminism vs. patriarchy)
self-censorship
privacy violations
threats: harassment, rape threats, death threats
wrong people accused suffer real-world consequences (e.g., "fake" Boston bomber)
In 2012, reddit user violentacrez was doxxed for his connection to "creepy" communities including "creepshots" and "pics of dead kids."
http://gawker.com/5950981/unmasking-reddits-violentacrez-the-biggest-troll-on-the-web
controversial, harmful, or offensive content removed
harmful authority figures removed from moderation pool
improved reputation of overall website
"community good" by self-policing activity online
4chan
image board
anonymous
separated by interest subcommunities
"cesspool of the Internet"
often the source of dox campaigns
echo chamber which facilitates outrage
"If you are capable of being offended, Brutsch has almost certainly done something that would offend you, then did his best to rub your face in it. His speciality is distributing images of scantily-clad underage girls, but as Violentacrez he also issued an unending fountain of racism, porn, gore, misogyny, incest, and exotic abominations yet unnamed, all on the sprawling online community Reddit" (Chen).
"I have not said many public things about Gamer Gate. I have tried to leave it alone, aside from a few @ replies on Twitter that journalists have decided to use in their articles, siding me against the hashtag. Why have I remained mostly silent? Self-protection and fear."
- Felicia Day, actress

My wife is disabled. I got a home and a mortgage, and if this hits the fan, I believe this will affect negatively on my employment," he said. "I do my job, go home watch TV, and go on the internet. I just like riling people up in my spare time.
- Violentacrez, former Reddit moderator
Despite its notorious reputation, 4chan's attempts at serving up justice for defensless turtle is just one of the group's acts of animal goodwill. Previously, the /b/ board members have come to the aid of a French cat brutally abused on video and a dog who had a gun held to its head by a high schooler. In August, /b/ also got a teenager arrested for kicking a kitten on Vine."
- Greg Seals, DailyDot

"You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."
- meme, quoting "Star Wars" on what 4chan and
/b/ are like
Whilst these snippets of info were filtering through to /b/, some strange activity was seen. A thread appeared, with Boxxy’s full name, and a previously unseen, high resolution photo, followed quickly by another. The OP claimed to be at the same school as her, but in Collierville, Tennessee, in the face of substantial ties to California. Instructions were given to ‘ruin her life’.
"And no matter what sort of attacks we might experience online, the expectation is that it will stay online. If someone is endlessly harassing me, getting into my Facebook and Twitter feeds and disparaging me on every review of every one of my books, the assumption is that I will only react online."
- Robert Jackson Bennett, author
Full transcript