Doxing is the process of finding out, digging for or uncovering personal information on a person, group, organization or corporate entity, compiling it in an organized format and posting it online. The end result of doxing is a dox. Doxes are often shared to incite harassment, intimidation, and/or violent acts toward their victims. It can be used to help police or to assist criminals. Typically, a person is doxed for revenge-based reasons, motivating the person who is wronged or who has perceived a wrong to humiliate and expose their target. Doxing is legal in all 50 U.S. states, only if the information is gathered from public websites, is public knowledge and does not contain private information such as SSNs or cell phone numbers.
Doxing was originally started, back in the 1980s to 1990s, by black-hat hackers and penetration testers of the time to silence and/or intimate their hacker rivals in the BBS and internet communities. Doxing is a form of vigilantism and many instances of doxing have led to swatting, years of harassment, people having to move out of their homes and change their phone numbers. Being doxed will also make you more vulnerable to identity theft. In the present day, specifically in the United States, doxing is used as a method of political dissent and political attack, primarily by left-leaning people against those with Conservative leanings. Doxing as well as deplatforming have become an integral part of "Cancel Culture."