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Doxing (dropping docs or doc-dropping, sometimes also spelled doxxing) is the practice of revealing personally identifying information (such as names, addresses, places of employment, relatives, etc.) of people who use the Internet, typically in a highly public manner as a call to arms against the target. One of the sad realities of the Internet is that there is an inexhaustible number of creeps and assholes looking for targets to harass, typically of a specific political opinion, religious view, social class, race, gender,[1] sexual orientation, etc., etc. While commonly associated with malicious intent, especially towards aforementioned groups, it is very often seen as an act of "bringing justice" against people the doxxer and their self-righteous audience disagree with or perceive as being unjust.[2][3]

In the case of poorly-done detective work or targets with common names, this can bring real pain to innocent people who aren't even related to the original situation.[4][5] While doxing can lead to simple trolling, such as calling in pizza orders or prank calling, in more malicious cases doxing is a prelude to SWATing.

Edge-case doxing[edit]

In the original definition, doxing requires hacking, or tricking someone into revealing information unwittingly. To a lesser degree, it also includes detective work piecing together information the target has revealed about themselves but which is obscure. It is also often considered doxing to widely publicize information the target has released themselves in the past, but which is for some reason currently not generally known or connected with a pseudonym. What constitutes doxing and what doesn't is currently hotly debated; often times along the lines of tribalism (we don't dox, but the others do!).

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