Word of the Day

doxxing

The publishing of personal details, home addresses and other information about people against their wishes, so they can be identified.

Doxxing (or doxing) refers to a type of cyber-attack involving the unveiling of the identity of an internet user, uncovering valuable personal data via an analysis of their online presence and broadcasting this data to the public with malicious intent. It can be used as a method of shaming or punishing in the digital world and on social media. It is possible to acquire this information through internet searches and hacking. The term carries a negative connotation as it involves violation of privacy but can be executed for various reasons, including vigilante justice, harassment, coercion and aiding law enforcement.



The word is a neologism derived from the phrase ‘dropping dox’ which emerged in 1990s hacker culture. Dox is an abbreviation of documents and the phrase refers to exposing an opponent’s anonymity.

Doxxing has recently become newsworthy following the activity of alt-right fascists on the website 4chan.com. Some users of the website have started a campaign to research and publish personal information relating to signatories of a petition by activist group Refuse Fascism. The Call to Action was signed by thousands who are now being targeted by alt-right supporters for opposing President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. The process of doxxing by the Trump supporters has seen the release of biographical information such as addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth, with some attempts even distinguishing individuals’ sexual orientation, religious affiliation and occupation.

doxing

the publishing of personal details, home addresses and other information about people against their wishes, so they can be identified
Chen exposed the identity of Michael Brutsch, a Reddit moderator, using techniques associated with doxxing.

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Macmillan Dictionary

Macmillan Dictionary

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