How can social media platforms prevent doxing

Doxxing: what is it and how do you protect yourself?

The term “Doxxing” (also spelled “Doxing”) comes from English and is derived from “dox”, short for “documents”. He denotes that systematic collection and subsequent publication of private and personal data of another person on the Internet.  

Exactly this means that someone collects personal data, chat histories, private photos or even official documents of another person and publishes them on the Internet without their consent. These data can be used both from publicly available search engines like Google or social media profiles filtered or also out hacked accounts collected or by Phishing be procured illegally. Phishing means that users are asked via fake or manipulated emails to enter their data in masks that look confusingly similar to the originals. The data can then be filtered out of these fake masks and stolen. Doxxing, phishing and hacking often go hand in hand.

Doxxing as a means of intimidation 

At the beginning of 2019, many public figures in Germany were affected by Doxxing. The private addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of thousands of politicians, celebrities and YouTubers have been published on the Internet. A direct consequence of doxxing is exposure. Control over your own data and the privacy is lost. Often times, the people who put the data online, too called for follow-up acts. In addition, anonymous people can be identified in public against their will through doxxing. What exactly the collected data is used for varies from case to case. But in all cases it is Data abuse.  

Often the private documents of others are put online in order to blackmail and intimidate these people. There are threats to publish more data if certain requirements are not met. In the past, Doxxing was also used to pillory others. Most recently, images of alleged assassins were spread on the Internet in this way, which ultimately revealed that completely different people were responsible for the attacks. So doxxing can Prejudgment and exposure entail.

Doxxing is research work 

We voluntarily publish many of our private photos and information on social media platforms. We are free to do so and in no way justify collecting and then publishing our documents on other pages that are accessible to all. We should just be aware that Doxxing can be facilitated by our actions. Other people can more easily gain access to our data. It is therefore particularly important to protect your own data on the Internet. You should therefore regularly check and adjust the privacy settings of your social media platforms. You should also change passwords at regular intervals and generally pay attention to which of your personal data is publicly available.

Doxxing must be reported 

Doxxing is illegal and also on the part of the major social media platforms explicitly forbidden. Facebook states: “You may not post any personal or confidential information about these persons without the prior consent of the data subjects”, while the Twitter guidelines state even more explicitly that “sometimes the private information of a person can be posted online without their permission referred to as "doxxing" against the Twitter rules ". You can report the misuse of your personal data directly to the platforms. How quickly the social media channels react to the report and remove the data if necessary cannot be said in general terms.

How does HateAid help? 

Doxxing can affect everyone. It does not matter whether they are “normal” private individuals or people in public life. Protecting your data on the Internet helps prevent doxxing attacks, but it cannot prevent them in all cases.

If you need support because you are affected by Doxxing, please feel free to contact us directly. We help youto secure the evidence with legally secure screenshots and are at your side with our free advice.