Doxing is bad but ‘identif(ying) extremists’ isn’t, Anti-Defamation League argues
January 18, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – In a recent public statement, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) asserted that “identifying people online” for punishment isn’t always wrong, based in large part on whether the target qualifies as an “extremist” in the organization’s eyes.
In an article published January 15 about ADL-backed legislation to outlaw the publishing of personal identifying information for the purpose of harming someone, the century-old antidiscrimination group argued that “doxing as a blanket term threatens to ignore the crucial difference between criminal doxing on the one hand, and, on the other hand, lawfully identifying people online, where the purpose may be to protect others, track down extremists or report on a public interest story.”
“Criminal doxing is when someone posts another person’s information and, in doing so, meets specific standards of intent that go to whether the disclosure will lead to criminal conduct such as death, injury or stalking,” ADL explained, citing the example of neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin publishing the name and address of Jewish real-estate agent Tanya Gersh along with photos of her children in 2017, that resulted in her receiving a deluge of death threats, the stress from which “took an unfortunate toll on me professionally, physically and emotionally,” Gersh said.
ADL then asserted that “unlawful doxing is different from the work that activists and researchers — including those at ADL — are now engaging in to identify extremists and help law enforcement agencies investigate the rioters who violently stormed the Capitol.”
“These activists and researchers are not operating with a criminal mental state,” the group claimed. “To the extent that these people are publishing information to share facts — and not acting with a level of intent that the information posted will be used to carry out criminal conduct such as death, injury or stalking — the Nebraska anti-doxing law would not apply. And that is how it should be.”
“An important part of ADL’s work to combat extremists and hate groups is to identify and monitor individuals who promote dangerous ideologies through our Center on Extremism,” ADL added.
Most respondents to the statement on Twitter interpreted ADL as simply trying to justify a double-standard between the doxing it likes and the doxing it doesn’t:
It’s pretty simple. The 75M people who voted for Trump are all white supremacists (including the black, brown, & LGBT ones)& don’t deserve 2 be treated as human. Everyone who voted for Biden is a living example of how all humans should be &should be protected by all existing laws— Brandon Straka (@BrandonStraka) January 18, 2021
Jews have to make a bigger effort to disassociate themselves from extremist hate groups like the ADL, they hate our religion and our values and are trying to make Nazism rise again. We’re better and smarter than this.@yhazony @RubinReport @benshapiro @DennisPrager https://t.co/iVSsl1MvN4— Quantum Realm Podcast-Perfect Calls (@RealmMark) January 18, 2021
While the details of doxing can vary wildly case by case, such as the type of information obtained or whether it’s released to the general public (as opposed to a private group or government agency), projects to “identify extremists” as ADL defends have often led to the very harms ADL cites from criminal doxing.
In August 2012, a gunman tried to murder staffers at the headquarters of the Family Research Council (FRC) in part because the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) had identified the socially-conservative organization as a “hate group.” In November, a Michigan Democrat lawmaker publicized the school where a Republican member of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers sent her children, after which she and the other Republican board member changed their vote against certifying the county’s presidential election results.
Other targets of left-wing efforts to “identify extremists” include female athletes who have criticized transgender exceptions for sex-specific sports, the Kentucky Catholic students who attended the 2019 March for Life, and Fox News host Tucker Carlson, whose home was terrorized, with his wife inside alone, by the Antifa group “Smash Racism DC” in 2018.