Wielding Power and Doxing Data

How Personal Information Regulates and Controls our Online Selves

Authored by: Les Hutchinson

The Routledge Handbook of Digital Writing and Rhetoric

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  April  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138671362
eBook ISBN: 9781315518497
Adobe ISBN:


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In the summer of 2012, I was doxed by a hacker within the Anonymous collective while conducting research in Twitter for my MA thesis. This hacker located my name, address, and my child’s name and school. They threatened to release this information publicly to others with the possibility of kidnapping my son from school unless another hacker, one of my research participants, came out of hiding and exposed their current Twitter identity. I communicated this harasser’s actions with my research participant who simply remarked, “I’ll take care of it,” and from then on, I heard nothing about my dox again. Despite then being removed from the threat, the act of being doxed by a stranger for motives unbeknownst to me forever altered how I approach digital scholarship. I felt—and still feel—irrevocably violated and have sought to better protect my online research identities.

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