On Doxxing

So some reddit lowlife got outed the other day. Apparently he was a legend and posted sexist, racist stuff as well as provocative photos of underage girls. He has supposedly lost his job and I give not a damn. Someone also outed Harriet Klausner, the Amazon reviewing doyenne who has supposedly “reviewed” 28k books in ten years. Not sure why anyone would be arsed to out Klausner; surely no one with a functioning frontal lobe takes her reviews seriously. There are allegations that she sells the books she receives on half.com or some fuckery. I didn’t really bother to read it.

There’s a lot of handwringing today about how wrong it is to out someone and that people should be allowed to maintain anonymity on the internet. I’m not here to argue that, because, again, I give not a damn. We can pontificate until our navels fall out about what SHOULD be. Personally I prefer to deal in what IS. And that is simple; the internet is not a democracy. If you have any expectation of privacy here, you need to step away from the computer. There never has been any privacy on the internet and there never will be. Every keystroke you make is trackable by someone with the time and skill to do so. And heads up; it doesn’t take a helluva lot of skill. If I can do it, anyone can.

Some of you know I had a crazy ass stalker for more than a decade, so I learned a few tricks to keep an eye on him. For instance, I get a lot of posts from headcases on this blog. Most I simply delete and put in my “crazy” file. (Yes, I maintain a crazy file.) I’ve only had to go to law enforcement once, but having documentation of the crazy certainly helps. I stilll live by the ‘”if you didn’t document it, you didn’t do it,” mantra I learned as a social worker. Some of them set off my “spidey” senses and I will go through the trouble to backtrack them. I’m frequently amazed by the information most of our friendly neighborhood trolls leave out there. If I wanted to I could expose their jobs, addresses, even their kid’s schools. I would never do that, of course. Mainly because I can’t be bothered, but also because I’m not a psychotic bitch. Free lesson to the trolls out there: Just because I’m not a psychotic bitch today doesn’t mean I can’t pull that trigger tomorrow. I’m perimenopausal with a toddler. You do the math.

This doxxing thing is nothing new. One of the first lessons I learned online came as a result of a really ugly doxxing. Back in the mid nineties we didn’t have blogs or even message boards. There was something called the usenet. And oh man, was it an ugly place to be. There was a particularly nasty white supremacist troll. I was personally convinced the man was mentally ill he was so vile. Someone doxxed him. Big time. Name. Photos. Wife’s name. Kid’s names and the name of his business. They even posted his personal address and his kid’s schools! Prior to this I didn’t realize how easily this could be done, and that was in 1996. God only knows what they can do now.

Bottom line is, there is no privacy or anonymity online. It doesn’t exist. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that if you turn three times, throw salt over your shoulder while saying “mama se, mama sa to matu sa,” with one eye closed while hopscotching backward somehow you’ll be protected. It’s not going to happen. Again, this is NOT a democracy. Everything you say or do will be used against you without due process.

I’ve said all this to say, be careful out there. Anything you wouldn’t want the world to know about probably shouldn’t be on your Facebook page. Yes, you can keep lists and maintain so-called privacy controls. Just remember two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead, and act accordingly.

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