From Fanlore
(Redirected from Doxxing)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Synonyms: doxxing
See also: pseud, RL sockpuppet, Wallet Name
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Doxing (also spelled doxxing) is the publishing of private or identifying information about an individual on the Internet, typically with malicious intent. In fandom, doxing is used to connect pseuds to Real Life identities, forcing fans out of the Fandom Closet. It can also reveal that sockpuppets are not real people. Information such as real name, address, phone number, place of work, private accounts, other online usernames, I.P. address, and personal photographs are some things that are revealed when someone is doxed.

Doxing in Fandom

Fans have discussed how the frequency of doxing, while still uncommon, seems much greater in fandom spaces now than even a few years ago and how this contributes to concerns amongst some fans. There are a number of factors which people suggest might contribute to this.

In terms of why it might be easier for people to carry out the doxing in the first place, fans have discussed how people seem to put a lot more personal information online. Things like, which are used by many users on Tumblr for example, and the encouragement to share identifiable details about oneself online can make it easier to link together people's accounts and find out who they are[1].

People get doxxed mostly through oversharing on other platforms or having their fandom name associated with their real name somewhere.

I would recommend using a different email address for fandom (Tumblr, AO3, etc) that is NOT associated with your actual name in any way (like, when you reply, the name that shows up is GildedSnow, not whatever your actual name is). Make sure to turn off geotagging on any photos you may take and post (like if you are posting pictures of fandom merch you've purchased to Tumblr). Make sure your reddit account (if its connected to your fandom identity) is clean of any identifying posts/comments. I doubt antis are more technologically savvy than that, and even if they were, none of these sites require a real name or any personally identifying information to sign up.

Yep. As a Xennial, I see what some of the younger folk on the internet are doing with the amount of personal info they share, and it makes my teeth itch. Kids talking about the high school they currently attend, posting selfies, giving out family members' names.

Back in my day, that's how you attracted murderers. It put the fear wandering serial killers into me, which is why I cosplay as a hipster viking on the internet. Same username everywhere, with an email address that matches. Used for nothing but fandom bullshit.

Other fans have discussed the growth of photo and video-based social media and the influence of algorithms and what they encourage posting of. On platforms like TikTok, especially, people are recording themselves more in locations that can be identified with reverse image searches or through other methods. They are posting their fan videos on the same account as their personal videos, so there isn't even any really effort needed to make the connection. In fact, some users on TikTok have used their skills in more ethical ways, with users consenting and submitting themselves to be located, to demonstrate just how easy it is to find out information about someone[2][3][4].

In considering the increase itself within fandom spaces, people have discussed how the nastier sides of fandom spaces are more difficult to avoid and get away from now. Opinion tends to be split over whether fan spaces are worse now than in previous decades, or whether there is just a different form of toxic behaviour. However, many fans agree that, especially online, we see a lot more of the worst behaviour and in greater volume. For example, fifteen to twenty years ago, a disagreement over a ship would likely have remained on a single livejournal or a forum, whereas now it's just as likely to be shared on Twitter or TikTok with encouragement to harass or dox the individual in question.

I think the main thing that's changed is the speed of things. Like I'm old enough that I remember the glory days of the HP fandom (MsScribe Story, etc) and things were just as mean and dramatic, it's just that it all took longer. It was also more contained - you only saw posts from people if you followed them, usually. Now reblogs, retweets, algorithms etc share things at lightning speed and can pull in people outside of the core group.

codeverity [5]

Others have discussed the role of parasocial relationships between fans and the creators of the fandom they are part of, including noting an increase in how public figures – ranging from very famous celebrities through minor celebrities, to influencers or social media users who just happened to get big off a post or tweet, to Big Name Fans – has led to people trying to find out a lot of information about them and sharing it widely.

In the present era, stanning has become a regular part of pop and online culture. Online communities celebrate, praise, and emulate music stars such as Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Cardi B, and Megan Thee Stallion. There’s a spectrum of stan culture where being a fan can be harmless, but on the extreme side, it can lead to glorifying public figures to harassing and doxing those who point out their failings or don’t share the same admiration for them online.

'The Underbelly of Stan Culture', Aakoma Project [6]

Another topic often raised in discussions of doxing, is with fans seeing the doxing and other harassment as a form of activism or the morally right thing to do because they find the individual they are doxing to be unforgivable or reprehensible in some way. For example, some of the fans who have doxed people seem to be genuine in their belief they are doing a public good when the target of their harassment and exposure is someone who ships a pairing they deem to be problematic. This heavily overlaps with other discussions around purity culture and fandom and fandom antis.

What I’m seeing from these comments is that doxxing is bad until the person being doxxed has been deemed as some something bad against a fandom in which case it’s open season and just an occupational hazard apparently. And of course the definition of who deserves to be doxxed widens everyday. Either way if you find yourself justifying doxxing I think it’s time to log out.
This. When people start throwing around "complicit" accusations to justify doxxing over petty fandom crap, then I think it's safe to say that there's something terribly wrong and toxic in stan culture.

In many instances, doxing occurs over fandom discourse. However occasionally, doxing in fandom can be done for political or ideological reasons, for instance as a form of antifascism if the fan in question is a fascist, such as with NaziFurs in the furry fandom. It's important to note that doxxing is considered a valid and ethical tactic in antifascism, but only when exposing fascists specifically, fan or otherwise, and not random fans of a particular NOTP the doxxer doesn't like.

Notable Instances

  • An anti-shipper on Tumblr named bendyhatespaedos purposefully doxed pedophiles, and admitted to doxing a 12 year old.
  • A mod from the FeralHeart public forum was accused of soft doxing after revealing two forum members had the same I.P. address, though the actual I.P. addresses were marked out.
  • Anonymous, a group credited as starting on 4chan, has doxed members of the KKK.
  • Brokenlevel, a Tumblr user, was reportedly doxed for shipping drama in the RWBY fandom, and had someone attempt to get them fired from work. [8]
  • I am Luna Sol, a fan artist was subjected to harassment, including being doxxed multiple times, for over a year for drawing Kaeluc ship art. They have spoken about their experiences with being harassed[9]. (See also: Bliss Fully Aware podcast, episode 47, 'Antis and the Clock App' and episode 67, 'The Lunasol Interview')

Links & Resources