Libraries Respond: Cyber-bullying and Doxxing

#LibrariesRespond

The internet makes communication a lot easier, but with its prevalence in our everyday lies, hackers and others have more opportunities to find more information about you. There have been stories about celebrities and public-facing individuals being cyber-bullied, threatened, and doxxed, but that doesn’t mean that everyday individuals aren’t having their personal information gathered and released to various sites on the internet. Library workers, by definition, work to provide information to those who request it. This free flow of information may upset individuals or specific groups and cause them to react negatively. It is important that library workers protect themselves proactively and are prepared to react quickly if their personal information is released virtually and if they are receiving threats.  

Terminology

Dox or Doxx (v) - To publicly identify or publish private information about (someone) especially as a form of punishment or revenge (Merriam Webster)

Cyber-bullying (n) – The electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person (such as a student) often done anonymously (Merriam Webster)

Examples of Doxxing

  • Releasing personal photos of an individual
  • Posting an individual’s phone number or address on the internet
  • Releasing information about an individual’s family, place of employment, or other private documents
  • Encouraging others to use released information to harass an individual

Examples of Cyber-bullying

  • Writing negative things to a person on social media accounts
  • Writing negative things to a person via email

ALA Resources

Additional Resources