Ep 20:Privacy and the Internet; Where Private Rights Meet Public Wrongs

Welcome one and all to Professor Metal’s Irate Debate and Calamitous Commentary with the Philosophical Chain Gang.

This episode, we will be covering Doxxing.

Ryvers offers an explanation of what Doxxing is

Sean clarifies the distinctions in the definition, including that it specifically includes the release of vital information

Bruce asks wherein the line lies between Doxxing and just talking about someone

Sean explains that intent is largely irrelevant in the definition of Doxxing, but that what we will be discussing a more… malicious form thereof.

Bruce talks about things from back in the day that already have personal information that is widely disseminated: the Phone Book (See Whitepages if you do not know what these are).

Ryver and Sean discuss that these are easily stopped if one does not wish to be found in them and that these are not useful in these contacts.

Bruce talks about how if everyone is included in this information, that people are less likely to be terrible to each other.

Ryver brings up the localised nature of these means and how this is different from Doxxing.

Sean explains the differences in celebrity culture between then and now, and how Doxxing effects people in ways that were not likely to be problematic in the same way in the past.

Sean gives a brief history of the origins of what we now call Doxxing.

Ryver wonders if Doxxing can be used in a positive fashion, and that he does not believe it can.

Bruce proposes that most people will believe it to be negative, save in a specific circumstance that can only be resolved via special pleading.

Sean explains that even if we could find an issue where we might find it be universally acceptable, it might still be an immoral means of accomplishing these goals.

The conversation turns ad hitlerum, and Professor Metal takes umbrage at the implication of Hitler as the archetypal villain.

Bruce decides that the use of Doxxing is perhaps immoral, whereas Sean thinks that the practice itself is not immoral, but the uses of it definitely are.

Sean raises the possibility of this being a question of Justice as retributive or preventive.

Bruce and Sean come to the conclusion that Doxxing will likely continue to be used in awful ways, and that it is likely to continue being problematic.

Ryver discusses that there is a certain level of information that is not problematic, and that this information that leads to someone else actively seeking the target out is not an immoral act on the part of the person releasing this information.

Sean debates the fine points of Ryver’s argument.

Bruce talks about the responsibility to protect each other’s anonymity, which Sean disagrees with.

Sean comes back to and further explains his belief that Doxxing is more of a moral grey area than it is immoral.

Bruce and Ryver argue the points of this view.

Sean presents the possibility of Doxxing as social policy issue.

The Philosophers discuss the social and personal implications of Doxxing as it effects jobs, social interactions, personal safety, and general societal welfare.

Bruce and Sean discuss the effects of this on anonymity.

Ryver brings up anonymity in regards to celebrity culture.

Sean and Bruce discuss the impacts of celebrity and whether or not those in the culture should be treated differently in regards to personal information.

Ryver expresses the belief that celebrity does not, or at least should not, confer different status.

Sean expresses disagreement with Ryver’s argument.

Ryver defends his argument.

Sean and Bruce discuss the special place in culture that celebrity occupy.

The Philosophers discuss the difference between gradually attained and immediately gained celebrity status.

The Philosophers discuss the backlash that can often effect people with names or usernames similar in some way to people in celebrity culture.

Bruce expresses the belief that Doxxing sort of comes down to either bullying or vigilantism, and as such is, at best, irresponsible.

Sean suggests that Doxxing is ultimately a power game in a great many ways.

Ryver takes The Last Word

Ryver discusses having met a fair number of people with a great deal of celebrity, and that they are largely just like everyone else. Celebrity does not grant one charisma, confidence, or force of personality that is often expected. Ryver gives tips on how to deal with meeting someone of celebrity.

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