Good news: A de-escalation

After editorial, doxxer relents

Posted 11/6/19

Last week in this space, we called on passionate policy advocates in Jefferson County to reject one of the nuclear options that has crept into modern activism: doxxing.

It’s the practice of …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Good news: A de-escalation

After editorial, doxxer relents

Posted

Last week in this space, we called on passionate policy advocates in Jefferson County to reject one of the nuclear options that has crept into modern activism: doxxing.

It’s the practice of finding out where your opponent’s family lives and works and posting that information online. It is legal, but heavy with the threat of unwanted attention - or worse - from any creep with access to an internet browser.

There are plenty of national examples of this turning dangerous and when we saw a local doxxing attack, we stepped in to referee a local dispute by calling on the doxxer to re-think before a terrible precedent was set.

We apologize to readers for not naming names. Many wanted to know who posted the name and address of someone’s kin in an effort to silence the opposition in a heated Jefferson County policy debate.

But in this case, printing the specifics would have only increased the chance that some unbalanced person would see the information and do something stupid or even tragic.

Another benefit to not naming names is, without having to suffer any public loss of face, perhaps the doxxer could more easily step back.

On Friday morning, the doxxer wrote to say the material had been taken down, which we have confirmed is the case.

To be clear, the innocent party has already been terrorized. They may yet seek redress, but that would require going public and making it all part of a public court record.

Still, this is progress. We hope it sets a standard: In Jefferson County, we fully inhabit all our constitutional rights to speak forcefully and freely for the policies we want and against the policies we oppose. We tear our opponents’ words and logic to shreds, if we so desire.

But, at least for now, we do not gamble with the security of family members of people with whom we disagree.

(The Leader’s Editorials are the opinion of the Editorial Board: Publisher Lloyd Mullen; co-owner Louis Mullen; Editor Dean Miller and Leader readers who lobby The Leader. Each editorial is signed by the person who writes that editorial on behalf of the Editorial Board.)

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here