“The term Dox or Doxxing is derived from the word “Document.” It originates from the practice of researching information about an individual. Doxxing is often defined as an Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information (such as names, addresses, phone numbers, spouse, children, relatives, financial history and much more) about an individual.” (Doxxing: The New Threat To Your Online Safety, 2016)
Before reading the three articles, I hadn’t knowledge on the heightened transformation of online harassment: it has, over the years, become a study of its own with continuous statistical analysis. Being a seasoned user of the digital world that we call the World Wide Web/Internet/virtual reality/and all the other names, I have seen online harassment in multitudinous forms; while I have never been victim to doxxing or online harassment, I have had friends who were and they were, most times, innocent victims of malicious minds.
For The New Yorker article, I was a tad bit sad for it to have ended: I had wanted to read more about the story: no doubt, if Teacher Fei and the girl continued with their malevolent mentalities, the story would have escalated further on the negative/violent spectrum. It was very interesting, the dynamic between Teacher Fei and the girl: she was doxxing her father and he, Fei, began doxxing her. Below are excerpts from the article that resonated within me and are at the core of doxxing:
“It’s the innocent ones who are often preyed upon by life’s cruelty, Teacher Fei replied, and when his mother did not speak he recounted the girl’s story from the magazine.”
“He did not know if she had heard him, but when he tucked her in she looked up from the pillow. “You should not feel upset by the girl,” she said.”
““The weak-minded choose to hate,” she said. “It’s the least painful thing to do, isn’t it?””
“He hastily composed another post, and then spent twenty minutes rephrasing it in a calmer tone, but a day later, when that message had also been deleted, his rage erupted. He called her a “scorpion girl” in a new message, saying that he hoped no man would make the mistake of his life by marrying her and succumbing to her poison; he took great pity on her father, since an evil daughter like her would make any father live in a hell.”
I was happy that despite Teacher Fei’s attempts to rile the girl up on her blog, she did not react to him. Rather, she calmly flung his comments into cyberspace’s trashcan and did not respond. She, Miss Doxxer-of-her-father, embodied the words of Darius M. Fisher in Sally Kohn’s article: “But if you are hacked or doxxed or such, rule No. 1 is stay calm. “They want you to panic and overreact,” says Fisher. “That’s their goal.” So don’t let them win by freaking out and potentially drawing even more attention to their bad acts.” (I Got Doxxed So You Don’t Have To, 2015).
This above article highlights just how serious and dangerous doxxing is becoming. Alan-Michael Weatherford, a graduate student at the University Of Washington, was doxxed to the point of having to change his social media names and having to have his student profile removed from his University’s website. Weatherford’s life has been eternally altered: not only is his personal information now permanently circulating through the virtual atmosphere, he is at risk of someone finding his information, tracking him down, finding him and carrying out radical acts of violence towards him and others. Weatherford, in his effort to prevent the faces of others being splashed onto the internet, has had his face splattered there and it is still uncertain whether his life will ever be the same again.
A Man Like Him. (2008, May 12). Retrieved February 15, 2017, from The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/05/12/a-man-like-him
Doxxing: The New Threat To Your Online Safety. (2016, December 7). Retrieved February 15, 2017, from Daily Caller: http://dailycaller.com/2016/12/07/doxxing-manageurid-advertorial/
I Got Doxxed So You Don’t Have To. (2015, June 29). Retrieved February 15, 2017, from The Daily Beast: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/29/i-got-doxxed-so-you-don-t-have-to.html
UW Grad Student Faces Torrent of Vile Harassment After Sticking Up for Immigrants. (2017, January 26). Retrieved February 15, 2017, from Seattle Weekly: http://www.seattleweekly.com/news/uw-grad-student-faces-torrent-of-vile-harassment-after-sticking-up-for-immigrants/