Musk Must Win the War on Doxxing
Doxxing has long been an arrow in the quiver of the left. Five well-known examples are as follows:
Senator Rand Paul was doxxed in 2018 when his address and cell phone number were posted online.
In 2019 Congressman Joaquin Castro revealed the names and employers of San Antonians who gave a maximum donation to the Trump campaign while accusing them of “fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.’”
The creator of LibsOfTikTok was doxxed by the Washington Post after a reporter ‘harassed’ her neighbors and relatives for personal information.
Five Supreme Court justices were doxxed following giving their support for the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022) decision.
The purpose of doxxing is intimidation. Few welcome the threat or possibility of facing protesters, especially at one’s home, place of employment, or place of worship.
The Twitter feed @OurRightsDC chronicles weekly protests outside of the homes of justices, targeting the neighborhood of Alito especially:
The threat of harassment, even violence, against political figures and private citizens, especially if those figure or citizens are perceived as being on the right, by rabid partisans, is very real.
After Senator Paul was doxxed his wife wrote “I now keep a loaded gun by my bed. Our security systems have had to be expanded. I have never felt this way in my life.” Rep. Castro doubtlessly hoped that his tweet would be chilling to anyone considering donating to Republicans just as it was the goal of the Washington Post was to bully the LibsOfTikTok founder and others like her.
Indeed, the doxxing of the justices was followed by an arrest outside the Maryland home of Justice Kavanaugh. A Californian was armed with “a tactical chest right and knife, a Glock 17 pistol with two magazines of ammo, pepper spray, zip ties, hammer, screwdriver, nail punch, crowbar, pistol light, duct tape, hiking boots with padding on the outside of the soles and other items.”
It is not as if the Left is unaware of the consequences of doxxing. It’s true they publicly defend it, but after Donald Trump Jr. retweeted a tweet that included the name of the “Ukrainian whistleblower,” The View host Abby Huntsman, a liberal Republican, lectured him: “The whole point of releasing a name is to intimidate someone, to threaten someone, and to scare other people from coming out. That's something that dictators do . . . that's not what America does. That's not what we do.”
Despite this awareness of the dangers of doxxing, the Left somehow thought it fine to dox Elon Musk — on Twitter — which he owns.
A brief summary of this controversy is that a group of blue-checked journalists — the “Blue Checks” — from CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other liberal news outlets attempted to dox Musk by linking to @ElonJet, a Twitter account run by Jack Sweeney, that tracked and posted (in real-time) the location of Elon Musk’s private jet.
This is clearly intimidation. As Jason Calacanis, co-host of the “All-In” podcast, said “The issue here is a new type of doxxing which I’ll call persistent coordinated doxxing, where dozens of times a month you’re giving a person’s location . . . It is terrorizing as a parent . . . Do you want to live in a world with de facto doxxing?”
This de facto doxxing apparently became terrorizing to Musk as well when a “crazy stalker” followed, then climbed on top of a car -- a Tesla, of course — carrying his two-year-old son:
Consequently, Musk reportedly banned Sweeney and 30 or so of his Twitter accounts and suspended the journalists who were linking to @ElonJet; or to Mastodon, a social media platform that was allowing users to share Musk’s location.
There is a dispute on whether Sweeney was sharing public information. Musk says the information was private, and is supported by Tim Pool:
Sweeney of course says it is public:
Regardless of the legality, the potential deadly result of having a Twitter feed constantly publicizing one’s location is evident. Given how many consider Musk to be a white supremacist, fascist, someone longing for the return of apartheid of his native South Africa — I heard that one on MSNBC — or some other demonizing label the left uses, it is not in his best interest to have his location tweeted. That will, one day, lead to a bad outcome.
Sadly, but predictably, the Blue Checks have argued, disingenuously, that the reason why these journalists were suspended — the Blue Checks use the word “banned” for dramatic effect — is because Musk can not withstand their withering criticisms:
However, if Musk was indeed banning the accounts of journalists who criticized him, he'd have time to do nothing else.
The suspension, originally issued for a week, only lasted a few days, following the results of a Twitter poll:
Nonetheless, the message has been delivered and received.
Elon Musk’s suspension of accounts that dox should be applauded. Doxxing is not free speech. Free speech should not make one feel it is necessary to sleep with a loaded gun by the bed. Doxxing is an indirect incitement to violence, one that has led to harassment and threats against private and public figures alike; especially, as it is often is, prefaced by the accusation that the target of the dox is an evil threat to humanity.
Perhaps with Musk’s stand against this practice, a life can be saved. Perhaps the life of his own two-year-old.