To dox someone is to "search for and publish private or identifying information about a particular individual on the Internet, typically with malicious intent."
Patreon does not allow creators to use Patreon to fund the practice of doxing. Our Community Guidelines clearly prohibit doxing and say that any creator caught in the act of malicious doxing -- or encouraging others to do so -- may be banned from using Patreon.
Fortunately, the vast majority of creators on Patreon never try to hurt other people. In those rare circumstances that a Patreon creator participates in doxing, we take a strong stance against it because we know of the potential harm it causes.
Doxing online has been around for decades, but it’s still a relatively new concept to many people. Simply put, doxing is a way that people try to hurt each other over the internet.
Doxing makes the internet less safe. And a safe internet is crucial for us to be able to have thoughtful conversations -- or constructive disagreements. Doxing removes that safe space for people to constructively engage, disagree, and grow, and Dox-ees could face life-affecting fallouts, like losing a job, damaging personal relationships, or even fear for personal safety in real life.
The most classic form of doxing is when an individual’s private personal information is shared, such as a phone number or home address. We may also consider it to be doxing when someone’s non-private information is shared in specific contexts. For example, someone might participate in an online discussion under a pseudonym, and a doxer would link their online persona with personally-identifying information that is publicly available once you know the person’s identity.
Rather than focusing on specific types of information, we consider the context around how the information is shared and the relative ease of finding or associating that information prior to the alleged doxing being evaluated.
Free speech and the right to protest are critical rights in a functioning democracy. As citizens of the internet, we might not agree with everything we read or find but it’s still important to respect freedom of speech.
That’s why, at Patreon, we take a strong stance against doxing, regardless of who is being doxed. We do not believe anyone should be doxed, whether for participating in a protest, speaking out against controversial ideas online, or representing a minority group.
You can read more about our content policies against doxing in the Community Guidelines. https://www.patreon.com/guidelines.