Doxxing - Right or Wrong?

Twitter is one of the top platforms for netizens to voice opinions and ideas. While this is a great way for people to gain insight on certain topics, there is also a downside to it. The lack of regulations allow all sorts of information to be shared quickly, and the reach is tremendous - something posted today can reach thousands of people in just a few hours.

doxxing - right or wrong?

Trending right now is the case of math genius Nur Fitri Azmeer Nordin, who was charged with possession and production of child pornography in 2015. He was studying at a college in London during that time and served a 9 month sentence in a UK prison. He then came back to Malaysia to further his studies, and everything seemed to be forgotten until recently, when a netizen tweeted about him studying in UKM.

The intent of the tweet was to warn those living in the area to be aware and take precautions, but things escalated when others started sharing his photos and personal details. 

Enshrined in Article 5(1) of the Federal Constitution are the laws for one’s right to privacy. There are three aspects to the right of privacy, namely the right to be left alone; the right to exercise control over one’s personal information; and the right to have a set of conditions necessary to protect one’s individual dignity and autonomy. However, as of today, there is no specific law in Malaysia to protect personal privacy and the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 only serves to protect personal data of a person.

This will (and has) led to a number of defamation issues, with photos and personal information of people being posted online without their consent, either with the intent to shame them or to raise public awareness. While the idea is noble, this falls under invasion of privacy, as everyone is entitled to personal privacy.

As in the case of Nur Fitri, there are two opposing viewpoints about the exposure he has received. While there are some who say he deserves a second chance to start anew and should not have his personal information shared around, there are yet other netizens who say raising awareness about him is more important.

What are your thoughts on the matter?