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JK Rowling Doxxed
One of the first 'fables' you're challenged to unpick when you study journalism, is whether you should publish someone's address.
The scenario goes something like this. An angry crowd turns up to perform mob justice, on a deserving character. But it later pans out, that the person who the crowd thought murdered all those children - was actually innocent. They found out the address because you published a picture of their house.
This week, trans activists protested outside JK Rowling's house. They shared a picture, which made it possible to connect the dots and work out where the writer's house was.
It saw the 56-year-old Harry Potter writer accuse the trio of doxing her. - Daily Mail
'Doxing: The act of publicly revealing previously private personal information about an individual or organization, usually through the Internet.'
It begs the question, is it ever in the public interest to publish someone's address. The vast majority of us, agree - it's never OK, especially with the above fable in mind.
And so it's no surprise that despite the picture being quickly deleted - headlines across the board decried the activist's actions.
Privacy and safety is a value we can all agree on. It's something we should all have, especially in our own home. Even those with divisive views.
But it got me thinking about how, as users of social media, we often forget that we are all 'publishing' content. The law that applies to journalists, writers and traditional 'publishers' also applies to social media users.
This situation also served as a reminder of the stark levels of power and difference between JK and those who disapprove of her gender-critical views. Many who are ordinary trans people simply fighting for their lives amid a rising tide of hate against them.
These trans activists, on this occasion, didn't nail the fine art of a fair protest. But JK has created 'pile ons' for many trans activists while using her social media.
Indeed, media coverage made it very easy to track down and send vile messages to the activists - which is exactly what happened.
Let's remember though, this is a rare example of transgender activists, getting it wrong. While every week at QueerAF we share the miserable tactics used against trans people. Actions that are spilling out into the world as assaults, murders and hate crimes.
Still, as this piece in the Evening Standard calls for: All sides need to talk, and not shout.
TLDR: We need to model the change we want to see if we want to create long-lasting change.
- 'As a trans person, I don’t care whether JK Rowling is included in the Harry Potter special' - Jane Fae in the Metro
- 'The vicious hounding of JK Rowling terrifies me — those who bully her are damaging their cause' - Ayesha Hazarika in the Evening Standard
- Barnes & Noble displays ‘unproblematic wizarding books’ without a Harry Potter title in sight - PinkNews
A heads up - next week I'm taking the week off for some annual leave. Our newsletter will be in the trusted hands of emerging creative Matilda Davies, who we commisioned to create the Queer Gaze.
Queer creatives should always get paid for their work. If you're reading and are not yet a paid member, will you consider becoming a founding member - or inviting someone you know to help fund Matilda's work, and support even more incredible creatives like her?
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