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The ethics of revealing Charlottesville white nationalist protesters on social media

Hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the
Hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and members of the "alt-right" march down East Market Street toward Emancipation Park during the "Unite the Right" rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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In the aftermath of the Charlottesville monument protests, many white nationalists who participated in the rallies are getting some unwanted attention.

As reported by TechCrunch, the Twitter user @YesYoureRacist has a mission to identify protesters online, what’s commonly known as doxxing. That led to the firing of Cole White, who worked at a Berkeley hot dog restaurant, Top Dog. The employer put a statement on the restaurant’s door, saying that White’s actions were not supported by the business.

NY Daily News writer Shaun King also took to Twitter to identify white nationalist rally participants named as suspects in the assault of a counter protester. And there have been some misidentification issues with doxxing on social media. @YoureARacist issued an apology after falsely accusing YouTube personality Joey Salads of wearing a Nazi armband. So what are the ethics of doxing on Twitter and other social media platforms?


Josh Constine, editor-at-large for TechCrunch; he tweets @JoshConstine