While the posting of public personal information is not explicitly forbidden by the Global Rules, we do put limitations on what can be posted or requested in order to prevent such activity from causing the site legal trouble. Additionally the doxing of site staff, board owners, and volunteers is prohibited as "harm to the site" under Global Rule 4. We broadly divide doxing into two categories: Hard dox and soft dox.
Hard dox is forbidden sitewide under Global Rules 1 and 4, and includes the following types of materials:
*Any personal information of someone under 18 years old
*Medical records or other HIPAA-protected information
*Driver's License information
*Social Security Numbers or their equivalents
*Non-public financial information such as bank account numbers, crypto account numbers, or credit card information
*Unlisted, private phone numbers
*Unlisted physical addresses
*Personal identifying information of employers, friends, or family members who are not otherwise notable or public persons themselves
*Any other personal material that was obviously acquired through an invasion of legal privacy rights
*Any material which Global Staff otherwise believes is possessed, shared, or requested in violation of applicable laws
Soft dox includes the following types of materials:
*Public phone numbers
*Public media such as images or videos that the person shared themselves
*Public email addresses
*Social media accounts including forum accounts
*General location information (e.g. their city of residence)
*General employer information (e.g. they work for X company)
*General information about their publicly-known friends, family, employers, employees, or acquaintances.
Soft dox is not generally prohibited under Global Rules, but may be removed in response to a valid subpoena, court order, or police investigation.
Doxing is almost as old as the Internet, but its legality is becoming more and more tenuous in recent years, and the rise of social media and so-called "metadata aggregator sites" who datamine and expose personal information, has blurred the line between what is private information and what is not. Many countries and even US States like California have passed laws making doxing a criminal offense. To ensure that this site does not wind up on the wrong side of such laws, we define and limit potentially illegal doxing to the best of our ability while preserving freedom of speech for discussion of public figures and otherwise notable individuals.