Doxxing and What To Do About It?

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A recent CNN article discusses doxxing, and what can we do about it if we were doxxed? The article provides answers to several practical questions on doxxing, like how to report it and steps for protecting yourself from getting doxxed.

Doxxing is the intentional revelation of a person’s private information online without their consent, often with malicious intent. This includes the sharing of phone numbers, home addresses, identification numbers and essentially any sensitive and previously private information such as personal photos that could make the victim identifiable and potentially exposed to further harassment, humiliation and real-life threats including stalking and unwanted encounters in person.

– International Encyclopedia of Gender, Media, and Communication (source: CNN)

In the CNN article, the following answers are provided related to doxxing:

  • Doxxing examples: “The gaming industry experienced a watershed moment known as Gamergate, a year-long culture war led by far right trolls online.
  • Where to report doxxing: “Facebook users can use a specific reporting channel when they are concerned about their image privacy on the platform. Users can report a specific item on the platform and follow the instructions.
  • Is doxxing illegal: “In the US, measures to combat doxxing vary across states. Last year, Nevada passed a bill that bans doxxing and allows victims to bring a civil action against the perpetrators. In California, cyber harassment including doxxing with the intent to put others and their immediate family in danger can put violators in county jail for up to one year or impose a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
  • Women more doxxed than men: “While anyone can be doxxed, experts believe women are more likely to be targets of mass online attacks, leaks of their sensitive media, such as sexually explicit imagery that was stolen or shared without consent and unsolicited and sexualized messages.
  • How to protect from doxxing: “While the responsibility to prevent doxxing rests with those who would violate another’s privacy, and not with the victim, it is useful to take some preventative steps to protect yourself online. The University of Berkeley, PEN America and Artist at Risk Connection provide thorough online privacy guides.

More detailed answers on the above topics are available in the CNN article.