While I usually abstain from getting involved in Youtube drama, I would like to give my two cents worth on the current Atheism-is-Unstoppable and Naked Ape internet drama. I believe that staying silent about things like self-justified doxing is being just as bad as the person who is doing the doxing. I really can’t pinpoint where the line is getting blurred between whatever AiU did (which I strongly condemn) and, say what journalists publishing investigation of corruption in politics or gamergaters highlighting collusion in the video game industry (which I support).I keep telling myself that politicians/journalists are special case, but it doesn’t make that feeling of hypocrisy I am getting go away.
AiU has had a long history of using Social Justice Warrior tactics of blocking people who does not agree with him, and doxing those who make video replies too his opinion. I have enjoyed some of his videos in the past and some of the things he has had to say, but having been blocked by him the first time I commented on one of his videos with a correction to one of his ignorant statements, and seeing how he revels in gleefully destroying people who disagree with him on his YouTube channel, has completely turned me off his channel and unsubscribing from him. What has become pretty clear to me though is that AIU is obviously is incapable of addressing criticism/arguments and just tries to prevent anyone from challenging him via intimidation.
An open discussion is still possible even if any or all of the participants is using a pseudonym. Constructive arguing can lead to great results, but things can and will deteriorate quickly if arguments, reverting to childish name calling and Godwin’s Law. It seems now that doxing and calling someone a (insert hated group here) to invalidate someone’s point of view without having to provide any factual evidence to support one’s own point of view has become common place on the internet. And I don’t like it one bit. Why? Because it is the very same tactic being used by the Social Justice Warriors, and the very same logic being used when they were called out on it. And trying to justify it by saying that information is publicly available is just morally wrong.
It is the intent behind the action of seeking out that information in order to display it knowing that negative results or even harm that may or may not come to said person. Time and time again, context and intent are blissfully ignored by the people who justify AIU releasing someone’s name online. I try to follow the golden rule on the internet, treat others how you want to be treated. Though I have lapses in judgement so I am guilty of being an asshole online as well, but I am an asshole that knows where to draw the line. Being a blogger I have been insulted by complete strangers both online and offline. I have been in heated arguments with a lot of different people through social media websites. I even have had some death threats levelled at me. There is simply no way to justify doxing someone.
Two wrongs definitely do not make a right, if we worked on the “eye for an eye” principle everyone would be walking around blind. Think of internet anonymity like a lock on a door. It helps keep your private life separate from the general public. In a perfect world we wouldn’t need locks, because no one would steal or murder, but this is an imperfect world and these things help keep people safe. It is a person’s own private information and their right to stay anonymous on the internet. To say it not a big deal because it is just a name is the equivalent of saying I have only stolen ten bucks from a guy’s wallet not his whole bank account. That is still not yours to take action with, regardless of the justification. The community is in danger of becoming the very monster we have been fighting all these years, and it saddens me that it has come to this…
[Editorial Note:] I really do not understand how anyone can defend AiU. Where have all the people vanished too, when everyone was calling out Brianna Wu for doing the exact same thing? Oh yeah they were right there along with us saying Brianna Wu was a doxing scumbag. But now that AiU is doing it, it is ok because the people he’s doing it to are “in the wrong?” Sorry, but that is the same fucking excuse the Social Justice Warriors used. It’s okay when we do it” is literally the core of their opinion on this. And shame on those people who idly sit by and not condone AiU’s doxing against other people.