Doxxing is intentionally researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual with the intent and purpose of having law enforcement called on them for spurious reasons.
The doxxing term is derived from “dropping dox” or “documents,” and it refers to the malicious practice of researching, collecting, and publicly disclosing someone’s personal and private information without their consent. This information can include home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, social security numbers, or any other data that can compromise an individual’s privacy.
The intent behind doxxing is often to intimidate, harass, shame, or exact revenge on the target by exposing them to potential threats, unwanted contact, or public scrutiny.
The act of doxxing can have serious repercussions, not just infringing on an individual’s privacy but also potentially leading to real-world consequences such as stalking, identity theft, and physical harm. In the digital age, where vast amounts of personal data can be found online, doxxing has become a significant concern.
The ease with which personal information can be gathered and disseminated across various platforms—social media, forums, and websites—amplifies the risks associated with this invasive act, making digital literacy and privacy protection more crucial than ever.