On Friday, popular hacker and political leak organization WikiLeaks made a startling announcement that they would soon begin gathering together all available information on all verified accounts on Twitter in a list that has many disturbed.
Many have responded in outrage to what they consider to be “doxxing,” which is the illegal search and publishing of private information on a public forum, usually with malicious intent.
In the tweet, the WikiLeaks Task Force informed the social media site of their possible next venture and then asked the public to assist in the selection of key criteria for their upcoming list.
We are thinking of making an online database with all “verified” twitter accounts & their family/job/financial/housing relationships.
— WikiLeaks Task Force (@WLTaskForce) January 6, 2017
The tweet was sent out by WikiLeaks Task Force, a verified account which claims that it exists to support WikiLeaks and “correct misinformation” about the organization.
The sorts of people who are verified on Twitter vary significantly, but generally if you are a noted celebrity or public voice, you may be verified. Donald Trump is verified, but so Ring of Fire’s very own Sam Seder.
There are thousands of accounts on Twitter that would fall under WikiLeaks’ umbrella, but many of them already suffer from frequent harassment, death threats, and doxxing without the additional hassle and danger of a public list. If WikiLeaks were to make such private information about these accounts public, it could put individuals’ lives at stake.
While WikiLeaks has done valuable work in the past, this is taking things much too far.
While the organization may claim that they are working in the interest of the public good, the truth is that they will be targeting thousands of innocent people – many completely unconnected to politics or government – in their quest to dig up dirt.