Politics

The false dichotomy of doxing

161Views

Recently there has been much controversy about the matter of doxing. Doxing is defined as “search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent”.

According to Wikipedia there are two aspects to doxing. The first aspect is the acquisition of information about the target. “The methods employed to acquire this information include searching publicly available databases and social media websites (like Facebook), hacking, and social engineering. It is closely related to internet vigilantism and hacktivism”. The second aspect of doxing is the public publishing of said acquired information.

The alt-right has been fractured in recent months over which direction the movement is to take. This culminated in congressional candidate Paul Nehlen releasing internet personality Ricky Vaughn’s real name to the public on Gab. This resulted in Paul Nehlen being banned from Gab for a terms of service violation and now Paul Nehlen is banned from all the major social media platforms bar Facebook.

As doxings go Paul Nehlen’s doxing of Ricky Vaughn (henceforth I will use Vaughn’s real name, Douglass Mackey) is quite atypical. Nehlen did not seek out Mackey’s personal details, Mackey volunteered the information to Nehlen. According to Nehlen, and undisputed by Mackey, Mackey approached Nehlen with a consulting deal to help with Nehlen’s congressional campaign. The price for this consulting service would be $2500 a month and included services such as use of “unconventional databases”, “data mining”, “facial recognition technology” that can track (and de-anonymize) Nehlen’s followers on social media, and provide opposition research against political rivals, such as evidence of fraud. This is an important aspect of this matter that I will cover shortly.

Supposedly Nehlen gave access to his Facebook to Mackey on a provisional basis to see what Mackey could do for Nehlen’s campaign, an unpaid trial period that lasted approximately three months. Once a certain amount of time was up Nehlen determined that Mackey had not done anything at all for Nehlen’s campaign, despite having full access to Nehlen’s Facebook account. Nehlen then declined to go ahead with the consulting deal and terminated the arrangement with Mackey.

About a month or two after the deal fell through Nehlen found himself under attack by Mackey, who was calling him an unviable candidate and was encouraging people to dissociate from Nehlen. Nehlen for his part mostly ignored Mackey’s needling until Mackey appeared on a podcast in which another guest (not Mackey) accused Nehlen of election fraud and claimed to have “evidence of fraud”. This opposition research is consistent with the work done by Mackey, so Nehlen linked the allegations of election fraud to Mackey, perceiving that the people that delivered the allegations were Mackey’s cat’s paws.

Nehlen struck back at Mackey by publishing Mackey’s name on Gab. Nehlen said that Mackey’s appearance on the podcast where the “evidence of fraud” allegations made against Nehlen was the reason for Nehlen releasing Mackey’s real name.

In a follow up interview with Christopher Cantwell of the Radical Agenda podcast, Nehlen claimed that Mackey did nothing for his campaign, and only data mined Nehlen’s Facebook followers, and the resulting data could be sold to third parties (adding to Mackey’s “unconventional databases”). He alleged that Mackey’s attacks on Nehlen were because the business deal fell through.

After Nehlen’s unconventional doxing of Mackey, the alt-right interwebs went berserk with condemnations of doxing, led by entertainers at the Daily Shoah, Andrew Anglin and Weev at the Daily Stormer and their many followers. According to this newly discovered moral law, ANY doxing under ANY circumstances is not permissible. No matter what offense you suffer, you are not to dox anyone, even a member of the antifascist movement. Anyone supportive of the doxing of Mackey, or even trying to put events into context were banned from the TRS forum (although donors to TRS could survive dissenting). This new paradigm is so strongly enforced that a thread reporting on the doxing of 650 members of the antifascist movement was locked almost as soon as it appeared, perhaps to prevent people from celebrating this doxing and throwing cold water on the 11th commandment, “thou shalt not dox”. Over at Greg Johnson’s Counter-Currents website we are solemnly informed that “Ricky Vaughn could have been sleeping with Paul Nehlen’s wife, and Nehlen would still have been in the wrong”. This is the kind of sentiment that the likes of Greg Johnson can safely endorse, what with the possibility of someone sleeping with Johnson’s “wife” being nil. This is the epitome of a man with no skin in the game.

This is the false dichotomy of doxing. TRS and the Daily Stormer now condemns any doxing under any circumstances, while Counter-Currents limits this injunction to those “in the movement”. It’s a false dichotomy because it fails to consider situations in which the person doxed was the first to cross the line. When someone is doxed, a line is crossed. But if the line crossing was initiated by someone else, then doxing is one potential method of retribution.

In the case of Mackey and Nehlen, it is abundantly clear that Mackey made the decision to throw Nehlen under the bus at some time after the business deal fell through. Although some may deny the business deal had anything to do with Mackey’s decision to attack Nehlen, by all accounts Mackey is a smart guy and must have known that attacking Nehlen after a business deal went south would give the appearance of impropriety (especially to Nehlen). And Mackey always had the option to remain silent about Nehlen rather than attack him. At no point during Mackey’s attacks on Nehlen did Mackey disclose his previous business relationship with Nehlen, thus concealing his conflict of interest. On the other hand, Nehlen’s previous business relationship with Mackey had everything to do with Nehlen’s decision to dox Mackey.

Doxing isn’t immoral as claimed by some. Doxing is a good or bad thing depending on the situation. On the TRS forum I outlined specific scenarios in which doxing should be considered kosher and asked the Daily Shoah entertainers there whether they agreed or not. They refused to answer the questions, and accused me of being disingenuous, an act of remarkable psychological projection.

The situations that I outlined were as follows:

• A man called my company to get me fired because of “muh racism”. Why do I have a responsibility not to dox this person?
• Richard Spencer was punched in the face by a person that would rather remain anonymous. Should he be doxed?
• Douglass Mackey decided to throw Paul Nehlen out of the movement after a business deal fell through. Didn’t Mackey cross the line?

You could come up with any number of scenarios. The first scenario happened to me. I had no recourse to the police or other authorities because what my stalker was doing was not illegal. Ultimately, I managed to track this man down to the company where he worked, and although I didn’t manage to get his name, I certainly got confirmation that he worked there. Under the threat of a potential dox, he stopped stalking me. Like a gun, doxing is a tool in your toolkit that should be used responsibly and only after someone else has crossed the line. Simple disagreement is not a sufficient condition but calling up someone’s company to get them fired (as happened to me), or being attacked after a business deal failed (as happened to Nehlen) is more than sufficient reason to retaliate with doxing. As for someone sleeping with Greg Johnson’s non-existent wife, it would be better to dox the guy than to murder him — or in the case of Jesse Dunstan of the Daily Shoah, commit an act of criminal assault instead of the ultimate crime, doxing.

It’s particularly ironic that the current dox-rage concerns Mackey, an individual whose business model necessitates the de-anonymization of internet anons to sell to politicians, itself a form of doxing. Furthermore, many of those complaining of Mackey’s doxing by Nehlen would have themselves been de-anonymized and turned into a product by Mackey if they followed Mackey on a social media platform, or any platform to which Mackey has inside access. I want to emphasize that what Mackey is doing isn’t illegal. It is of concern to dissidents that value their anonymity and would rather not be de-anonymized in a database.

The new injunction against doxing will not end doxing, quite to the contrary doxing will be more common than ever. Instead of someone taking responsibility for a doxing and elucidating their reasoning for doing so, doxing will be handed over to third parties like the Huffington Post through anonymous tips. Nehlen will likely be the last person on Gab to be banned for outing someone like Mackey.

In recent months the alt-right at large has become a full participant the absurdity of clown world, something that is particularly noticeable over at the TRS forum. The entertainers at TRS lack candorencourage braindead group think and take reactionary positions based on fear of losing what they already have. Perhaps this essay will play a role in bringing the alt-right back to planet earth before permanent damage is done. It may be too late.

PDF of Douglass Mackey’s consulting methodolgy

5 Comments

Leave a Reply