The mission for the Trust and Safety blog series is pretty straightforward: it’s an opportunity for us to share our logic, process, and decisions with you. Sometimes, those conversations are easy to have, such as enabling two-factor SMS or TOTP authentication. If you haven’t done that yet, you should do that now — easy peasy. But other times, the blog series covers issues that are complex and nuanced. Today’s topic, doxing, definitely falls into the latter category.
We believe it’s our responsibility to create a platform that’s safe for creators and their communities to engage with one another and to express themselves freely. This means creating a space for people, especially those whose ideas we don’t necessarily agree with, to participate in the conversation without risking their safety. Doxing threatens that safety.
Whenever someone on Patreon participates in doxing, we take a strong stance against it because we know the harm it can cause. If you’re not familiar with the term, doxing is the act of maliciously attacking an individual by publishing their private or identifying personal information on the internet. Doxing doesn’t fit with our mission to fund the emerging creative class.
The most classic form of doxing is when an individual’s private and personal information is shared without their consent, such as a previously undisclosed home address or phone number. Sometimes doxing can involve revealing the real name behind an online handle or pseudonym in a sensitive situation. Other times, we might even consider the collection and distribution of public information on an individual to be doxing if the intent is to coordinate harassment or harm.
While there’s no shortage of forms doxing can take, it’s always a way for people to try and hurt each other on the internet. Fortunately, most of us are friendly folk with no intention of such.
So do people dox each other just to be mean? Not necessarily. Often, people dox each other because they believe it’s the right thing to do. Maybe they are pursuing vigilante justice. Regardless, this behavior threatens people’s safety, and we’re not in the business of funding that. Our guidelines clearly state that anyone on Patreon caught doxing may be removed.
We hope that everyone on Patreon will continue to have conversations, no matter how difficult they are, within the limits of our guidelines. While we encourage the free exchange of ideas, it doesn’t mean that we welcome behavior that comes at the expense of the broader community. In addition to doxing, we condemn bigotry, nazism, and hate of all kinds.
Check out our Community Guidelines if you’d like to know more about what is and isn’t allowed on Patreon and why. We also recently put out a blog post on what informs the creation of these policies. If you believe someone on Patreon has participated in doxing or has otherwise violated our guidelines, please let our Trust & Safety team know by following the steps outlined in this article. By doing so, you are helping us make Patreon a safe place for everyone.
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