Why do people dox someone?

The bell is ringing. You open it and see a pizza delivery man with a stack of pizzas. And if you still want to pay. That’s strange, you didn’t order anything! Wrong address maybe? The delivery person looks at the delivery note and repeats your address and name. Someone has placed an order at your address as a joke. But how do they get your personal information? Chances are you’ve been doxxed. What is doxxing? We explain it to you.

What is doxing?

Doxing (or doxxing) is the search and publication of privacy-sensitive information of people on the internet. This is often accompanied by evil intentions.
In today’s online world, you have fairly easy access to tools to retrieve people’s personal information. When malicious parties have found that information, they publish it to the rest of the world.

Which information?

What information should you think about? Some people – think of gamers – use an alias online. People who doxx (doxxers) then look for the real name that is hidden behind the alias. In this way they quickly find out social media accounts, hobbies, interests, forum messages and in certain cases also their place of residence and address or even telephone number.

How do doxxers get that information?

Pretty simple actually: on social media, via all the different – public or not – accounts that people have. A person who is quite skilled and good at connecting the dots will quickly find out where you live, who your friends are, or how old you are. The first tip: protect yourself against this by checking all your account and carefully determining what others may know about you.
In other cases, doxxers use more sophisticated methods to retrieve personal information. Just to name a few topics: retrieving IP addresses, domain look-up, phishing or social engineering.

doxing meaning

Doxing is an English word. It is derived from the word “documenting” (to document): docs. In other words, documenting the details of a person: his/her (real) name, address or telephone number. The spelling has been changed from docs to dox. The word is also used as a verb. “He is doxxed” you may have heard.

Why do people dox someone?

Play your own judge

Why dox? When people get the feeling that they or others on the internet are being wronged. They see people breaking the rules. They choose to play their own judge. They publish the data and leave it to the public as to what they do with it.

Someone is hiding

Suppose a person is wanted by the authorities. He/she is hiding somewhere because he/she has committed a crime. Doxxers lend the police a hand. They look for these people and pass on the location of that person.

hate groups

Groups of people can be at odds with each other, think of something political, racism or hate groups. Doxers look for the data of people in that group and put it online. An example of this is the hacker group “Anonymous” which published the names of the KKK members.


Tensions in a discussion or online argument can run very high. For example, out of revenge, doxers publish the phone number of that other person with the message: what this person says or thinks is not good! They are called and receive messages from strange people. This is really intimidating and makes you feel unsafe.

Is doxing illegal?

In general, doxing is not illegal, as the information released by doxers has often already been made public by the person himself. But if the intention behind doxen is clearly bad, then the doxxer is on thin ice. In addition, in the Netherlands you have to deal with the Personal Data Protection Act. It imposes strict rules on the processing of people’s personal data. So if you collect data online from someone and publish it somewhere, you must comply with that law. So here too: slippery ice. ICTrecht wrote a blog on this subject: are you allowed to dox? .

How doxing went dangerously wrong

Doxing can be intended as a (wrong) joke, but doxxing can also be done with bad intentions. And that can quickly go very wrong. This is evident from the story below, where a bet on an online game eventually led to a fatal shooting incident.
Two gamers, Casey and Shane, got into an argument over a bet they made during a video game. After the game, the feud continued on social media. There, Casey threatened to doxx Shane. Shane responded by forwarding his address. What Casey didn’t know: This was Shane’s old address, he’d moved. Casey lived up to his word. He hired someone who called the police and said, “I killed my father and I’m holding my family hostage. do you have my address?” The police responded to the call. With an arrest team they drove to the given address. The man who opened at that address didn’t know what hit him. He was shot by a cop. The man died in hospital 18 minutes after the tragic incident. For example, instead of Shane, a strange man became a victim of doxxing.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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