Shame on the Daily Beast for Doxing a Trumpy Vlogger

Macduff

Moderator
Apr 2010
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Pittsburgh, PA
#1
Last month, a manipulated video circulated broadly on social media that made House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seem drunk. Vloggers Diamond and Silk made mention of it in a Fox and Friends segment. Rudy Giuliani mentioned it on Twitter. Shame on all of them for propagating a fiction. They should be embarrassed for their credulity.

This story illustrated the issue of “fake news,” which is a legitimate problem. And there are pertinent questions to be asked about the extent to which social-media companies should involve themselves in policing content. Reasonable people can disagree.

But the story took a new and unfortunate turn over the weekend when Kevin Poulsen, a contributing editor at the Daily Beast, found the guy who made the video. Poulsen then revealed personal information about the individual, who denies he is the video’s creator.

...

Stein’s defense conveniently elides the actual calculation that the Daily Beast made. Yes, there is some news value in revealing the personal details of the man who allegedly made the video. But so what? Very few things in this world have no value. The real determination was that the value to the public of learning this individual’s identity was greater than the potential harm done to the man for having his identity revealed.

Such a claim is ridiculous. The person whose identity revealed was literally just some dude. Readers did not learn anything of importance regarding the proliferation of misleading videos, the problem of fake news on social media, or the impact of any of this on our politics. We did not learn anything about Trump voters that we did not already know. We did not become more informed citizens. We are not better equipped to hold the government or social-media companies accountable thanks to this exposé. Stein’s defense — “this story shows disinformation isn’t the purview of Russia alone” — is nonsense, because that was evident to everybody already. There is no “direct implication for legislative debates,” or anything of the sort. The value in revealing the man’s information was purely the satisfaction of idle curiosity and public shaming for his spoofing (which is not all that different from the business model of the Daily Show).

This conclusion is entirely consistent with a denunciation of both the video itself and the gullibility of the public figures who promoted it. The Daily Beast is pursuing an agenda that is simply not required by the public interest, Stein’s claims to the contrary notwithstanding.

Daily Beast Doxes Vlogger: Shame on Them | National Review
 

Macduff

Moderator
Apr 2010
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Pittsburgh, PA
#2
A couple other things here.
Why is Facebook giving out personal details of users?
And the Daily Beast article claimed that he made $1000 off this video. But you can't monetize Facebook videos like you can YouTube content. And the vlogger himself has denied it. So what gives there?
 

Chief

Former Staff
Nov 2009
33,114
21,162
SoCal
#3
I dunno.

In principle, I am against doxing anyone.

In practice, the more fucked up someone is, the less effort I am going to make to argue his or her case. Also, for your consideration... if this guy was guilty of duping millions of righties, he caused a lot more damage than the daily beast did in outing him. I'll add to that, if you are concerned with doing things the right way, using the right systems, etc... then I hope you feel that way every time Trump breaks one of those systems to defend himself too.
 
Jun 2014
61,607
35,959
Cleveland, Ohio
#4
I dunno.

In principle, I am against doxing anyone.

In practice, the more fucked up someone is, the less effort I am going to make to argue his or her case. Also, for your consideration... if this guy was guilty of duping millions of righties, he caused a lot more damage than the daily beast did in outing him. I'll add to that, if you are concerned with doing things the right way, using the right systems, etc... then I hope you feel that way every time Trump breaks one of those systems to defend himself too.
I'm surprised nobody has been murdered to date on account of doxing, going back to the Gamergate scandal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamergate_controversy/

I'd like to see doxing made a crime. You have a legitimate need to know an online poster's personal details, sue for them in court where at least SOME protections are possible.
 
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HayJenn

Moderator
Jul 2014
70,089
60,093
CA
#5
I dunno.

In principle, I am against doxing anyone.

In practice, the more fucked up someone is, the less effort I am going to make to argue his or her case. Also, for your consideration... if this guy was guilty of duping millions of righties, he caused a lot more damage than the daily beast did in outing him. I'll add to that, if you are concerned with doing things the right way, using the right systems, etc... then I hope you feel that way every time Trump breaks one of those systems to defend himself too.
The linked article also failed to mention that Trump tweeted it as well. So to say that it was duping millions of people - you are probably right on that one. It does not go any higher than POTUS

And how messed up it that the President of the United States did that?

The guy in question does admit he works as an administer for Politics WatchDog, the group that did put out the video. You Tube took it down, but Facebook did not.

Looks like he going to try to sue the Daily Beast.

I don't like doxing either,

But this is a good read - from the Columbia Journalism Review


People who put misinformation/propaganda online and actively try to spread it need to be held accountable, especially if it gets 2 million views,” says Mollie Bryant, who runs Big If True, a journalism non-profit. Joan Donovan, a disinformation expert who runs the Technology and Social Change Research Project at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, told CJR that the decision about whether to identify people like Brooks that create or spread disinformation and propaganda “is a very complex ethical issue.” At a time where there is heightened awareness of foreign operators seeking to polarize contentious issues by using platforms and fake identities, she said, “journalists must seek the original source, especially when ascribing intent.”

It’s also not strictly correct to accuse The Daily Beast of doxxing Brooks, since that term usually refers to publishing someone’s contact information, including home or work phone numbers, and addresses. Shachtman also pointed out that Brooks put his name on the sites that he published and/or administered, and had already identified himself on Twitter as an administrator of one of the Facebook pages before the Daily Beast article was published. Brooks, for his part, has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for what he says is a potential lawsuit against the website for publishing an “inaccurate trash article.” He says he didn’t create the Pelosi video but just uploaded it like anyone else, and argues there are other errors in the story, including the way it describes his battery charge.

A number of observers, including Binkowski, pointed out another potentially disturbing aspect to the Daily Beast story about Brooks, namely that it suggests Facebook verified Brooks’s identity, even confirming the exact time he uploaded two versions of the clip. “A Facebook official…said the video was first posted on Politics WatchDog directly from Brooks’ personal Facebook account,” the story says. Binkowski tells CJR she thinks it’s worth commenting on “how readily Facebook apparently gave up his identity, and yet they won’t reveal so many other things” that seem even more important when it comes to disinformation (CJR reached out to Facebook for comment but no one had responded by press time).

Should The Daily Beast have exposed the man behind ‘drunk Pelosi’ video?

Agree with Mac on the Facebook privacy thing - highly disturbing.
 

HayJenn

Moderator
Jul 2014
70,089
60,093
CA
#6
I'm surprised nobody has been murdered to date on account of doxing, going back to the Gamergate scandal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamergate_controversy/

I'd like to see doxing made a crime. You have a legitimate need to know an online poster's personal details, sue for them in court where at least SOME protections are possible.
In this case, it's not really doxing him.

He admitted he was part of the site that showed those doctored videos
 

Macduff

Moderator
Apr 2010
96,684
33,639
Pittsburgh, PA
#7
The linked article also failed to mention that Trump tweeted it as well. So to say that it was duping millions of people - you are probably right on that one. It does not go any higher than POTUS

And how messed up it that the President of the United States did that?

The guy in question does admit he works as an administer for Politics WatchDog, the group that did put out the video. You Tube took it down, but Facebook did not.

Looks like he going to try to sue the Daily Beast.

I don't like doxing either,

But this is a good read - from the Columbia Journalism Review


People who put misinformation/propaganda online and actively try to spread it need to be held accountable, especially if it gets 2 million views,” says Mollie Bryant, who runs Big If True, a journalism non-profit. Joan Donovan, a disinformation expert who runs the Technology and Social Change Research Project at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, told CJR that the decision about whether to identify people like Brooks that create or spread disinformation and propaganda “is a very complex ethical issue.” At a time where there is heightened awareness of foreign operators seeking to polarize contentious issues by using platforms and fake identities, she said, “journalists must seek the original source, especially when ascribing intent.”

It’s also not strictly correct to accuse The Daily Beast of doxxing Brooks, since that term usually refers to publishing someone’s contact information, including home or work phone numbers, and addresses. Shachtman also pointed out that Brooks put his name on the sites that he published and/or administered, and had already identified himself on Twitter as an administrator of one of the Facebook pages before the Daily Beast article was published. Brooks, for his part, has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for what he says is a potential lawsuit against the website for publishing an “inaccurate trash article.” He says he didn’t create the Pelosi video but just uploaded it like anyone else, and argues there are other errors in the story, including the way it describes his battery charge.

A number of observers, including Binkowski, pointed out another potentially disturbing aspect to the Daily Beast story about Brooks, namely that it suggests Facebook verified Brooks’s identity, even confirming the exact time he uploaded two versions of the clip. “A Facebook official…said the video was first posted on Politics WatchDog directly from Brooks’ personal Facebook account,” the story says. Binkowski tells CJR she thinks it’s worth commenting on “how readily Facebook apparently gave up his identity, and yet they won’t reveal so many other things” that seem even more important when it comes to disinformation (CJR reached out to Facebook for comment but no one had responded by press time).

Should The Daily Beast have exposed the man behind ‘drunk Pelosi’ video?

Agree with Mac on the Facebook privacy thing - highly disturbing.
By the CJR's logic, you couldn't dox anyone with a Facebook account.
 
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