How ‘Doxxing’ Became a Mainstream Tool in the Culture Wars - The New York Times
“Dox a Nazi all day, every day,” she said.
Online vigilantism has been around since the early days of the internet. So has “doxxing” — originally a slang term among hackers for obtaining and posting private documents about an individual, usually a rival or enemy. To hackers, who prized their anonymity, it was considered a cruel attack.
But doxxing has emerged from subculture websites like 4Chan and Reddit to become something of a mainstream phenomenon since a white supremacist march on Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month.
The ethics — and even the definition — of doxxing is murky. It is the dissemination of often publicly available information. And, some at the protest asked, are you really doxxing a person if he or she is marching on a public street, face revealed and apparently proud? It is not as though they are hiding their identities.
“For us, it slows things down. We try to integrate people back to humanity,” Mr. McAleer said. “If isolation and shame is the driver for people joining these types of groups, doxxing certainly isn’t the answer.”
In short, once someone is labeled a Nazi on the internet, that person stays a Nazi on the internet.
The next year, doxxing became a tool by in the “GamerGate” controversy, an online dispute purportedly about ethics in video game journalism that became a foundational moment for some of today’s fringe far right. Mostly male video-game players began to publish personal information — including home address and phone numbers — for women in their community, typically journalists and game designers who they said were unfairly politicizing gaming culture.