As a followup to my previous post about #GamerGate, I really feel the need to talk about Doxing. For those not aware, Doxing is the practice of finding a person's personal information and blasting it on message boards. Pure and simple this is not ok. I don't care what justification you feel you have, there is absolutely no good that can come of this.
I've seen people justify it by saying that they were guilty of hate speech. One gentleman said "don't even give me that First Amendment nonsense. You have every right to say it, and I have every right to find your address and put it out there!" What's scary is he said it to a fairly large audience that cheered him as he said that. No! That's an invasion of privacy. That's absolutely wrong.
Let us say that an individual is opposed to transgenderism, and says he believes our current method of treatment is feeding the delusion. Its understandable that maybe there might be some hard feelings there. It's also understandable that people's reaction to a transgender saying "do you want to go home in an ambulance" might be a bit passionate. Ok but that might be the end of it.
But then some random guy has the audacity to say that people calling said transgender "classy" don't understand the meaning of the word. That same transgender releases the information for said random critic on twitter [note: I have a link for the tweets in question but as it shows this man's address I won't post that on an open forum]. It went from light scorn to nuclear option in .02 seconds.
Now let's depart from reality for a second and acknowledge that there are some crazy people out there. Let's also acknowledge that whenever theres an issue that strains passions, it'll illicit strong reactions. Maybe the light scorn that the critic had gets blown way out of proportion (like it already has), and someone whose emotions are high decides to act on those high emotions. We've seen examples of assault, that people think is completely justified because it was "provoked." We've seen people who thought assassination was perfectly justified (see Lincoln). How hard is it to imagine someone taking a random tweet WAY out of context and acting on it?
In recent years there's been protests at houses of people of prominence. Privacy rights seem to have gone right out the window. I don't know if it began with the NSA, or what, but suddenly people think that this form of harassment is perfectly justified. That anyone who disagrees with the politically "correct" position must be punished. When did we in the West begin to think this was ok? You fear harassment so you'll preempt the harassment by harassing someone? Why?
Take it from someone whose lived in situations of 0 privacy, privacy is one of those freedoms they don't talk about until it's taken away. Life can go from hunky dory to insufferable hell in the blink of an eye all because you lose privacy. There is absolutely NO justification for doxing. While I'm generally against saying there should be laws about somethings I find doxing so insidious that in this case I'll make an exception. If its not already, Doxing should absolutely be against the law.