Doxing is bad, but it's even worse when you do it to the wrong person

Hey, didja hear the news? The guy who moved in down the street is a child molester who burned down an orphanage and kicks puppies. Kicks puppies! Let's go give him a piece of our mind.  I heard it from a friend, who heard it from her brother's girlfriend's, uncle's cousin's, baby momma's doctor who lived next door to an old class mate's mail man, so it has to be true.

Mob burns down his house.

Oh hey, turns out we had the wrong Mr Nobody. Whoops, our bad.

Doxing: search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.

 

People mean well but execute poorly.  After the shooting of Trayvon Martin, Spike Lee posted what he thought was the address of George Zimmerman.  The address in question, however, turned out to belong to Elaine and David McClain, who had nothing to do with the shooter.

"My youngest son, his last name is Zimmerman and his middle name is George," Elaine McClain told Orlando's WKMG TV.Apparently Lee obtained the address from one of his Twitter followers and as is par for the course with social media, shared it quickly without vetting it.  Now he is being sued for $1.2 million.

Remember Cecil the Lion?  He was hunted and killed by a Minnesota dentist named Walter Palmer.  This sparked an international outcry and greater scrutiny of trophy hunting wild animals.  The outcry lasted almost a month but I'm not so sure about the other part.  But lost in all that is the fact that many outraged individuals visited Palmer's office and harassed his staff...who had NOTHING to do with their employer's actions.

It's hard to keep up but recently there were two other people who committed terrible and perhaps unnecessary acts against fellow world citizens and public opinion outrage ensues.

A Walgreens pharmacist refused to provide an Arizona woman with miscarriage medication, citing his ethical beliefs. I never understood why people with these beliefs become pharmacists. It's not like you didn't know you'd have to fill these prescriptions in pharmacy school!

I'm having trouble finding a legitimate news site to verify but someone posted on Facebook that a woman was kicked off a Delta flight at the Fort Wayne International Airport over a dispute about whether or not the woman’s phone was on airplane mode.  Honestly, the electronics causing interference on flights is a bit suspect,  but rules are rules.

Let's not forget that revealing the identity of Wrigley Field's most infamous fan sent him into hiding for the better part of two decades.

The point of all this is that even though your intentions may be good, your actions may help pave the Road to Hell.  Life is filled with unintended consequences and you just never know what might happen if you provide an angry crowd with the address of a person who had a moment of dickness.  Maybe their 4 year old kid has to learn about  bad words much sooner than any parent would like, or worse.

There are other ways to get back at these people.  Better, legitimate ways that are perhaps a little harder to implement but have much more satisfying effects with fewer unintended consequences as the byproduct.

 

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