Doxxing and security culture

No, I have never doxxed anyone. And I never would. Having been doxxed before by neo-Nazis as a “commie Jew,” the very idea is abhorrent to me. (This was mostly my fault, incidentally: I used to troll Stormfront message boards with drive-by comments like “lol, Slavs are white?” and then watch them tear each other to shreds. Forgot to block my IP address, stupid me.)

I hate even having to address this, but since it’s become an issue I might as well tackle the rumor in public so that everyone knows:

Several years ago, in early 2015, I was involved in an argument with some people online. Yes, shocking, I know. But looking back at it now, I realize I was often a jerk and didn’t conduct myself as well as I could have. Many of my views have changed since then, anyway, and at any rate I regret saying hurtful things. For whatever reason, though, this group I had been arguing with began to refer to me shorthand by my initials, “RW.” Unfortunately this led to a huge misunderstanding.

Around the same time a virulently anticommunist and antisemitic page called RedWatch popped up on Facebook. It’s affiliated with the far right British National Party. We later mass-reported it, and got it taken down, so you won’t find it on FB anymore. Regardless, it soon started publicizing the private details of communists — even outing a couple of my close friends. Getting word out as quick as they could, to warn people about the threat, some people wrote “RW is doxxing leftists.”

Of course, RW stood for “RedWatch” in this context. But I guess someone misinterpreted it as “Ross Wolfe,” since people had been referring to me that way. This probably sounds farfetched, but it’s what happened, and anyone interested can see a screenshot where the accusation was raised and then amended when it the person learned I was not reporting anyone or breaching security. Don’t worry, the names have been removed and are all color-coded so you can see who is talking to who without their identities being revealed. Irrelevant comments have also been cut out.

A bunch of people defriended me when the warning first went out and then later refriended me once they learned what’d happened. Since I didn’t hear anything more on the matter for years, I assumed it had all been cleared up. Just last week, however, I was told by a local organization in NYC that I am no longer welcome at their meetings or events because of concerns that I might represent a “security breach.” Rumors, even baseless ones, have a way of sticking around on the internet, and I guess that’s the case here.

I know how important security concerns are. When serious accusations are made, you have to take it seriously. So I fully understand precautions must be taken to ensure everyone’s safety, and don’t blame anyone who heard these false rumors and decided to take action. You were just trying to be cautious and make sure everyone was safe. But I also think it’s important to set the record straight, because I have never and would never doxx anyone.

There may still be other issues people have with me, and that’s fine. I know I’ve been an asshole at times and should be held accountable for that. We of course have to keep an eye out for infiltrators and snitches. Snitch-jacketing is also a concern, though. Or should be, at least, as it corrodes trust between revolutionaries and makes our job that much harder.

Right now we desperately need to organize against the capitalist order and some of its morbid symptoms that have emerged of late. White supremacy and chauvinistic populism are on the rise in the US and elsewhere around the world, as well as Zionism and other forms of minority nationalism that emerge in response to majoritarian forms. Homophobia, transphobia, and other prejudices persist and have even intensified in recent years. This is the task ahead of us.

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