Things I Can't Believe I Need To Say: Yes, Doxxing is Bad

3 min read

In the recent days, people have attempted to justify doxxing. Ironically, a person was doxxed in the name of student privacy. I didn't think that it would be necessary - in the education space - to have a conversation about why doxxing is a very bad idea, but here we are.

I left the text below as a comment but I wanted to post this here as well so I have a copy.

If you are in the education world, or the technology world, please speak up on this issue.

From the comment:

I noticed in reading through this most recent post that you omitted this pretty thorough debunking of both the doxxing angle, and the actual conflict of interest that has been used to justify the doxxing:

You also left out

You also omitted - which documents doxxing going back to 2001. One of the comments on that piece is from a person who was doxxed in 1997.

Which is to say: reality often differs from the story you get told on Google trends.

But more than anything, I am left nearly speechless by this statement: "I will not spend time editing out info from public docs."

Why not? In all the cases you cite, the home address of the subject is completely irrelevant to the story you are trying to tell. Yet, you are willing to expose these people to the potential risk for harm because editing out an address will slow you down?

I've done this work. I've edited docs before - it takes around 30 seconds. Cleaning up docs so you are not exposing personal information is *sound research*. Please, add this into your workflow. It will improve your credibility.

Let's say a student hands in work filled with spelling errors. If their justification for it was, "well, I would have corrected these things, but I didn't have time," - what would your reaction be?

Finally, you also justify doxxing by saying that you only research adults, not children. This is a dangerous shield to use. Many of these adults *have children* - when you dox the parent, you put the child at risk.

Additionally, the original issue here (the social media monitoring) is rooted in expectations of privacy, and the expectation to be free from excessive, unnecessary surveillance. We *all* have those rights. You, me, and the people we disagree with. Adult or child.

Please - reconsider what you are saying in this piece. It is a dangerous escalation. At best, it will result in some Pyrric victories. At worst, someone will get hurt. Badly.