OP/ED: Washington Post’s Doxxing of Libs of Tik Tok is a Step Too Far


In the early morning of April 19, The Washington Post published an article written by Taylor Lorenz doxxing the person who runs the popular Twitter account @LibsofTikTok. 

The amount of issues that a journalist-in-training finds in this story is outrageous and continues to make journalism look cheap and commercial. This story serves only to fuel the accusations of the left-leaning bias of the Post since the Bezos take over. 

They only have themselves to blame for this as it becomes more obvious. 

The first major issue lies within what the account Libs of Tik Tok actually is. The account repost videos of liberals sharing some of their ideology or other viewpoints. They are not edited and routinely have a caption that only sums up what the person is saying. 

It’s a troll account using the far left’s words against them. It’s effective because the videos range from absolutely ridiculous to borderline terrifying. At no point is the person running the account injecting their own thoughts into it. 

Now of course, they are posting because they look terrible in it. It alienates the left as a whole to a more radical agenda, but that’s not the fault of the account. It’s the people posting these insane videos promoting a radical left agenda. 

She writes, “often including incendiary framing designed to generate outrage.” This “framing” is done solely by the original makers of the video. They create the outrage by expressing their ideas, which they freely post to social media. 

So why does Lorenz feel the need to dox or reveal her identity and private information including her religion to the entire world through the Post? 

The only use this information can be to the general public is putting the person at risk. Like I said, these people are unhinged and when exposed to the world, look terrible. You don’t think some of these people, who already appear to have issues, might try and get back at them?

In all fairness, on this point, Lorenz doesn’t deserve 100 percent of the blame for this terrible decision to publish. Her editor is Christina Passariello. She is the editor who oversees the Washington Post’s technology coverage. 

Don’t mistake what I mean. It’s a great topic and a story worth running with the site recently being featured on Tucker Carlson and other conservative programs. However, the fact the story included her name and where she lives is unacceptable, and both the editor and journalist need to answer for that. 

According to the article, Alice Crites and Razzan Nakhlawi also contributed to the report. 

This isn’t a crazy person threatening people. It’s not someone who is going after the journalist’s private information. She was not charged with a crime. This is a person who has a funny and effective account. 

The second issue rest solely on Lorenz. She recently appeared on MSNBC to discuss how she’s been a victim of cyberbullying. This has taken such a toll on her that she broke down and cried on air. 

Did she throw all of that experience out the window before deciding to look like a total hypocrite here?

Her action in writing this is setting the individual up for the exact same targeting. However, this isn’t even the worst of her actions. 

Lorenz went to the homes of relatives of the account owner to get more information as shown by the account’s owner. So not only has she outed the account’s private information but now has access to their family and harassed them. 

She herself in the tweet pictured left described doxxing as “not okay in any situation.”

Where is the ethics in this? It’s a political comedy account. It’s a joke, and a reporter from arguably the most accomplished newspaper in America hunts them and their family down. 

I don’t even accept they did it for a better story or to get more reads. If they did that they cover the account and everything else around that and leave the private citizen alone. 

The only appeared attempt to reconcile the issues with this doxxing was in the paragraph stated below. 

“The popularity of Libs of TikTok comes at a time when far-right communities across the Internet have begun doxing school officials and calling for their execution. Parents of LGBTQ+ youth have been driven out of their towns. Local school board members have reported death threats.”

So is that how Lorenz and Passariello find her justification? Are they willing to set up a stage where “right” and “left” people dox each other in attempts to prevent the other from sharing their viewpoints? 

If so, then we are setting up the 21st-century social media version of McCarthyism. If that truly happens, it only guarantees mutually ensured destruction for all. 

The Post made its decision and willingly put a person in potential danger. The only motive which makes sense for why is the people who run the Post simply disagree with what the account is doing. They have placed political agendas ahead of basic ethics. 

It’s upsetting to see as someone who wakes up every morning and reads the Washington Post. It is one of only two newspapers I pay for monthly. To see them make an editorial decision like this only further paints them as biased and problematic in the coming years of journalism. 

While they were worried about democracy dying in darkness, they seemed to have let ethics die in plain sight.