4. What To Tell Friends and Family

When being doxx’d, attackers may use that personal information to contact family members and/or friends and use that information to get them to divulge more details of your life (social engineering). Attackers may also contact family members to simply harass, make accusations against the victim, or threaten the family. It is important to (selectively) let family know what is happening, that they don’t have to freak out (even though it certainly feel appropriate), and give them tips on not engaging:

Zoe Quinn: “Give other people affected a heads up & make sure they don’t give out more info. For example, in my case they spammed my former employers dating back all the way to when I was a teenager, trying to dig up more info on me. I know it can suck to have to try and explain this stuff to people, but it can keep more information from leaking out. Similarly, try to make sure people don’t freak out, and that they shouldn’t engage with these people or do anything other than hang up.” [ZQ1]

It’s also important to inform family and friends that are active on social media that it’s possible that fake accounts might be started with your name/avatar on them. Make sure they check with you via another channel before reacting/responding to outlandish or out-of-character posts seemingly from you.

How Family/Friends Can Help

Ashe Dryden:

“In the event of really shitty things going down, I will reach out to a couple people that I trust to help me screen twitter, emails, and any things else necessary. If we are friends and you are worried, contact the people closest to me and they will be the best ones to give you updates so I don’t get overwhelmed.” [AD1]

Twitter Tips:

[Ed.] If you are defending a victim on social media, think about removing their @username from the threads, so that you “draw fire” and help clear their timeline of unwanted communication.

Ashe Dryden:

  • block/report for spam the people in my mentions that are being harassing
  • take a screenshot and document any information available (URLs, handles, names, etc) if it is a physical threat or if it would violate the twitter TOS so that I can report them as abuse through Twitter if it gets to that
  • do not reply to trolls or harassers with my name in the tweet. If I have stopped engaging with a person, take that as a sign that I don’t want to see anything related to them either. If I have to ask you more than once to stop replying to me with their info attached, I may have to block you.
  • don’t reply to them with a period before their handle; I don’t want to see it in my timeline.
  • don’t use a hashtag we’ve created when replying to their trolling, harassment, or threats as this may trigger other people. [AD1]


[ZQ1]Zoe Quinn, What To Expect When You’re Expecting (the internet to ruin your life)
[AD1](1, 2) Ashe Dryden, Trolling, threats, and abuse: how you can help me