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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

If the dx is "bigotry," is "doxxing" the effective tx?

"doxxing," a.k.a. "doxing." "Outing" someone online, usually as a tactic of intimidation or revenge.

Been a crazy couple of weeks. The uproar over now-fired Google resume-padding "senior software engineer" James Damore after he posted his incoherent anti-diversity "#GoogleManifesto," the near-daily escalating juvie war-threatening insult-fest between President Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un, and then the horrific, lethally violent racist events in Charlottesville VA.

 My reaction on Facebook.

I'm a bit relieved to report that my daughter's exigent Saddle PE situation has stabilized.

Now comes rapidly spreading "doxxing." The most visible proponent in the wake of Charlottesville, on Twitter:

News item (one of many now popping up):
Charlottesville White Supremacists Begin to Lose Jobs, Web Hosting Platforms

The doxxing of white supremacists who rallied to protect a statue of a loser general continues, to their shock. In turn, some of them are beginning to see consequences.

Twitter account @YesYoureRacist has been circulating photos of rally attendees who boldly eschewed the tradition of wearing a hood when one gathers in a mob to express vile ideology. Viral screaming racist Peter Cvjetanovic has already been exposed and reportedly regrets that he is getting attention, but that’s about all he does regret.

The New York Post reports that another of his racist compatriots, Cole White, has been fired from his job working at a Berkeley restaurant called Top Dog…
Well, what's not to love here? Engage in bigoted assholery, suffer the consequences? Inclusive of public shaming and perhaps loss of your job or other punitive outcomes?

Above, the shouting young man (Peter Cvjetanovic) at the forefront was ID'd as a University of Nevada, Reno student, and promptly doxxed.

Again, is this a justifiable and effective pushback tx for publicly expressed bigotry? Anyone see any potential problems here? If you're photographed or A/V'd doing this ignorant stuff in public, there's certainly no libel issue in getting doxxed, right?

Well, as long as the outing is incontrovertibly accurate, 'eh?
BTW, in medical chart-speak, "dx"=diagnosis, "px"=procedure (e.g., surgery), "tx"=treatment (e.g., meds)
I rarely pass up an opportunity to mock public displays of political mendacity (particularly when it's armed), reflexively reaching for the Photoshop for some quick sport.

So, anyone know who these Densa Society Charlottesville Manly White Power Warriors are? Beyond public calls for what is distressingly akin to Vigilanteism, might digital tools such as Facebook's AI "deep learning" facial recognition technology pin them down for doxxing?

I should note that I have long been a vocal defender of peoples' "privacy." See my 2008 post Privacy and the 4th Amendment amid the "War on Terror." See also my 1998 graduate thesis opposing warrantless drug testing.

Stay tuned. What do you think?


apropos of my earlier post on the recently fired Google bro'grammer "engineer."
The 'March on Google' protest has been cancelled
The "March on Google" protest scheduled to take place in multiple cities across the US this weekend has been cancelled.

In a statement on its official website, organisers claimed they had received "credible" terrorist threats from what they described as "known Alt Left terrorist groups," and were cancelling the march due to concerns "for the safety of our citizen participants."

The protest was organised by conspiracy theorist and Trump supporter Jack Posobiec and others after Google engineer James Damore was fired for writing an internal memo that suggested biological differences between men and women might be responsible for the gender divide in the tech industry. News of the memo — and Damore's subsequent firing — caused a wave of criticism from many on the right, who accused Google of suppressing free speech.

In a video announcing the March on Google event, which was scheduled for Saturday, August 19, Posobiec said that "this assault on freedom of speech ... needs to be stopped." There were marches planned for New York, Washington D.C., Austin, Google's HQ in Mountain View, California, and other Google offices around the country...
This, in the wake of an earlier report on CNN: "The far right is planning 9 rallies nationwide this weekend alone."

Lordy. So, the otherwise Manly, gun-toting bigots are the "victims," afraid of a bunch of tie-dyed "alt-left" hippies?


(NOTE: I had to replace the full original Vice/HBO video. It now comes with an age verification requirement obstacle.)

Ugly. Wonder how many of these bigots have "ObamaCare?" Wonder how many have one of more family forebears who fought ACTUAL Nazis during WWII.

UPDATE: Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism has chimed in on this video and the broader issue.
"Race is a social concept, not a scientific one." - J. Craig Venter, PhD
So, back to my original question, should activist bigots like this Christopher Cantwell dude in the video be "doxxed?" Publish his address (replete with Google 'street views') and phone number, and his employer (if he has a job)? Similar info on his extended family?

How about this? A fair game pushback tactic?
Spreading tactical "disinfo" to play on the paranoia of these militants to help spread distrust in their ranks and mitigate or neutralize their effectiveness. That OK?


From Wired:

LAST SATURDAY, LOGAN Smith, the man behind the Twitter account @YesYoureRacist, began posting photos of alleged white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia—and gained over 300,000 followers in a single weekend, some of whom helped him expose the identities of the protesters. One of the people Smith outed has since been fired from his job at a Berkeley, California, hot dog stand. Another, pictured screaming and holding a tiki torch, claims he's been misrepresented as an “angry racist.”

Another was disowned by his family. Another, Kyle Quinn, was more than 1,000 miles away from Charlottesville at the time of the protest—a case of mistaken identity that brought a wave of threats and accusations of racism so large that Quinn felt unsafe in his home. Still another was James Alex Fields, Junior, who murdered anti-racist protestor Heather Heyer.

To some, this all makes Smith an internet hero. To others, he’s just the vile, destructive left wing doxer du jour. (Smith did not respond to request for comment, though he has discussed the campaign on NPR.)

So who's got truth on their side? The internet has always been a swamp of ambiguity, especially where doxing is concerned. But as doxing continues to evolve as the preferred tactic of both far right and left wing internet factions, it’s important to take a hard look at what each side is trying to accomplish. While the two sides use different logic to justify their actions, the true result is the same and even cumulative—leading to an arms race of financially incentivized, shame-slinging vigilantes…
Who gets fired for being a “Nazi”? Depends on how expendable you are
Working-class white nationalists and supremacists are being outed and fired, but the professional class is safe

As white supremacists stormed Charlottesville with tiki torches alit, thousands of amateur and professional photographers documented the mob’s movements on social media and on news sites. Portraits of rally-goers trickled through the digital ether, and as public outrage grew, many attendees’ identities were outed by digital vigilantes. As a result, stories abound of rally attendees being fired from their workplaces for their white supremacist leanings: a cook at the Berkeley-based Top Dog (technically, he resigned), a San Francisco electrician, a cook at an Uno Pizzeria franchise in Vermont, and a welder from South Carolina among them.

There is something comforting about the outing and firing of Nazis: it draws a line between what kinds of politics are socially and morally acceptable, and which aren’t. That’s more than the president could do in his post-riot address. Yet if you study those who were fired for being white nationalists or flirting with Nazism, you might be apt to notice a pattern: Generally, those who suffered the loss of their jobs were working-class men, working service labor. Simultaneously, we must face the fact that there are those with Nazi sympathies in positions of relative greater power who are utterly secure in their career tracks. That is indeed troubling…

Internet shaming: When mob justice goes virtual

...Kyle Quinn, an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas, was enjoying a pleasant night out with his wife at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Ark. "I saw some nice art exhibits with my wife, and we went to dinner up there and just had a lovely evening," he told Pogue.

Suddenly, there was an inkling that something was amiss. "A lot of frantic emails from the university, trying to reach me. And I thought that my weekend was about to be ruined."

While Quinn was at that museum in Arkansas, white supremacists were gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia -- and on the Internet, outraged onlookers misidentified Quinn as one of the participants.

Did he think there was a resemblance? "Not really. I understand, I've got a beard!" he laughed. "I understand that some people could see a resemblance there. But anyone that knows me knew right away that that's not me."

But people who didn't know Quinn decided that he had to be punished. He began receiving "really vulgar messages that you could never air. There were messages coming to my email, messages on my work phone. Things on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook as well."  The messages implied that he was a racist.

That was Kyle Quinn's introduction to a modern form of public humiliation known as Internet shaming, where online mobs descend upon one person in a wildly out-of-proportion attack.
Quinn felt his personal safety was threatened. "The most troubling thing to me and my wife, really, was, someone identified where we live, our home address. Any time you have an angry mob and someone says, 'Hey, this is where the guy lives,' that's a threat in my book…
Goes precisely to my reservations.

One of my female FB friends took issue after I posted the article:
And now that it's happening to white men, it's suddenly a problem worthy of major network news. Color me unimpressed. It's clear a lot of these New Amerikkkan Klansmen have NOT been mis-identified. Now, if the major networks have started calling out the people who have been making women's and POC's lives HELL with this bullcrap, I'm ready to listen--but this is clearly once again centering men and their Freeze Peach.
Okeee dokeee, then. Well, I'm a white male. I was not in Charlottesville (or at any other rally). So, am I nonetheless fair game for erroneous "doxxing?"

More to come...

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