Doxxing White Supremacists

I don’t doxx and I don’t like doxxing (the release of private information such as a home address or work place to harass people). I don’t like it when the Orthodox community does it to Meir Kin, following the directions of America’s leading Modern Orthodox rabbis, to try to intimidate those who won’t give their wife an RCC divorce. I don’t like protesters showing up at people’s homes.

On the other hand, I don’t think anyone should say or do things that they can’t stand behind. “How would I feel if what I was about to do or say was published on the front page of the New York Times” is a good moral guide to life.

I remember Ben Shapiro accused Breitbart of doxxing him when they simply linked to his California State Bar page where he had foolishly listed his home address. That’s not doxxing. If you publicly post your private information, you can’t accuse others of doxxing you when they link to what you willingly put online where anyone can access it.

I have never knowingly put anyone’s home address or work place online.


“It’s hard to get a job, hard to make a living, hard to have a normal social life when all your friends and family know you believe in ethnic cleansing.”

…Of course, social media mobs have a spotty record when it comes to identifying assailants, and the Charlottesville rally was no exception. Kyle Quinn, an engineer at the University of Arkansas, woke up to thousands of expletive-filled messages from strangers after he’d been misidentified as one of the Charlottesville marchers on Twitter.

But there wasn’t much sympathy for those who’d been correctly identified as part of the racist horde. Some of those identified, like Peter Tefte, were publicly disowned by friends and family. Even Jon Ronson, author of a sympathetic book about those who’d been on the receiving end of public shaming, weighed in to say the shaming of white supremacists was justified. “[The Charlottesville white supremacists] were undisguised in a massively contentious rally surrounded by the media,” Ronson wrote on Twitter in the midst of mob calls for justice. “There’s a big difference between being a white power activist [or] white supremacist and being, say, Justine Sacco,” he wrote, referring to the PR executive who was fired from her job after joking on Twitter about how white people can’t get AIDS.

Online, white nationalists may use pseudonyms, VPNs, and other techniques to try to mask their identity out of fear of doxxing, or having their personal, sensitive information leaked online. But at Charlottesville, those who attended had no reasonable expectation of privacy, according to the organizers themselves.

“The difference between Charlottesville and other public events is that the organizers were saying ‘Do not come to this event without the expectation of being doxxed,'” says Keegan Hankes, an analyst at Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project. “They had some inkling [that they could be outed] given the furor in the weeks leading up to the event, where you saw things ramp up between some of the anti-fascist groups and some of the alt-righters online.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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