Doxxing for good — as in sharing someone’s personal information online in the name of social justice — has started to happen more and more recently. Bloggers are bragging about the creative ways that they are exposing racists, misogynists and homophobes; Ordinary people on Twitter are calling for the doxxing of those harassing them; Whole sites are dedicated to showcasing the mean, idiotic, and bigoted messages people post online just so us weary travelers can share some cathartic laughter at their expense. Just last week a university baseball player was kicked off his team when his offensive tweet about 14-year-old pitching phenomenon Mo’Ne Davis was blasted online.
I would argue, depends on the job, and depends on your boss.
Professional sports tolerates all sorts of assholes, because they are good at throwing balls or catching them or running really fast, or in the case of boxing, beating the RIGHT people up at least as often as they beat up the wrong ones. Ty Cobb is in the Hall of Fame. Plenty of people who are good at their jobs are absolute suckholes in real life, so at what point do the scales tip? When do you become a liability and not an asset?
If you’re responsible to your employer and not to the public, then you do you, so long as your boss is happy and I don’t have to put up with you over Christmas dinner. A cop, though? Firefighter? Congressional staffer? Somebody tasked with taking care of everybody? NOOOOOPE. You wanna cloak yourself in the protection of being a public servant? Then you serve the public and the public is not having that anymore.
And if everything online is publication — everyone can see the Internet, guys — then you posting on Facebook are no different from a newspaper columnist and if you call somebody a nigger then you get what that guy would get, which is a lot of people saying fuck you, dude. But there is a major gap in our understanding of what Facebook and Twitter are — media — and what we think they are — our diaries, photo albums and conversations we are having with our buds.
How to fix that? How to address it? And how to genuinely build a better society? I’m asking. I don’t have the answers here. Most people making the “free speech absolutist” argument these days are the worst kinds of misogynist jerkasses. Does that make their arguments invalid? I find it hard to muster sympathy for somebody who gets shitcanned for being a racist dick, but should I find it easier?