The Georgetown University professor who called for the “miserable deaths” of GOP senators admitted Thursday to PJ Media that she runs a “doxxing” blog where she posts the names, phone numbers, and addresses of people who send her rude emails.
The blog — “ShitMenSay” on Tumblr — was launched by Professor Christine Fair in January 2017. First, she began by posting screenshots of the “hate mail” she was sent by Facebook and email, typically only including names and people’s email addresses.
But as early as May 2017, Fair changed course. Instead of simply screenshotting the person’s email or Facebook message, Fair appears to have subscribed to a service that would help her figure out where these people exactly live.
PJ Media reviewed hundreds of posts (yes, hundreds) on “ShitMenSay” and identified 11 accounts of full-on doxxing, for which home addresses, phone numbers, photos, aliases, and occasionally work phone numbers and other family members were made public.
“When will these male trolls learn?” she wrote on September 28.
“I do research for a living. Locating their residences (these folks live in a town in [redacted] near an elementary school on [redacted] St.), their wives, employers, etc. is mental sport for me,” wrote Fair in one doxxing post.
“I will be notifying his current and past employer as well as his wife,” she wrote on a separate doxxing post. (PJ Media is not linking or screenshotting any of these posts due to privacy concerns for the victims of her blog.)
While Fair justifies her doxxing by calling it “accountability” for “harassment,” the emails that she received are garden-variety hate mail, and wouldn’t in any case rise to an illegal level of harassment.
For example, one man was doxxed after he emailed: “I find it interesting that you refer to half the [men] in this country as a form of ape. Your (sic) a PHD right? I guess it must not be difficult to get a PHD.”
He ended his brief missive with “HAHAHHAAHA GO TRUMP, I’M GLAD HE IRRITATES YOU.” In turn, Fair posted his email, his home address, and his phone number, and contacted his employer. It is unclear if he is still employed; he was unreachable by phone and email.
PJ Media contacted the 11 people who were hardcore doxxed by Professor Fair. The vast majority of this hardcore doxxing came after she tweeted that GOP white senators “deserve miserable deaths” during the Brett Kavanaugh TV saga.
Except for two victims, none responded to PJ Media’s requests for comment.
One man, K, said he was unaware he was doxxed. (To be fair, it is unclear how many people follow Fair’s doxxing blog. It could easily have a handful of followers, or thousands.)
“Why would she post my personal information? Is it to create an opening for someone … to harass me? Is this the new way for people with extreme points of view to ‘punish’ and try to quiet those that disagree with them?” said K.
“Since when is the goal to damage or have some anonymous person damage a person that disagrees online? Muzzling free speech thru fear is not an American ideal. It does however, seem to be a new weapon to beat down conservative voices. Sad situation,” K told PJ Media.
Another man, B, said he was doxxed within a day of sending Fair an email that contained his phone number in the signature line.
“Then I got 30 emails with the subject line ‘ASSHAT’ or something like that and some of the contents of those emails contained attachments with very disturbing images. Very gruesome. People.”
“Were they dead or alive?” I asked B during a phone interview on Sunday.
“That I don’t know. I only completely opened one email attachment, and was too afraid to open any others,” B told PJ Media. Then B got a phone call from a man who said he knew where B lived, claiming that he was calling on behalf of Professor Fair.
Afraid for his safety, B was forced to temporarily move and change his phone number.
Fair — for her part — denies wrongdoing. Her blog is about “accountability,” she maintains. She says she only posts the contact information for the people who “harrass” her, but claims she herself does not harass people back.
“I run my Tumblr blog. You can see only people who send me vile notes are doxxed,” Fair emailed PJ Media last Thursday. She did not respond to follow-up inquiries.
According to a FIRE spokesman, Fair’s actions thus far are protected by the First Amendment. But James Salby — a manager at Acronis, a digital security firm — said that the fallout of doxxing can be immense.
“Occasionally, doxxing is used by people who feel vulnerable and powerless to try to expose and hit back at people who are hiding behind secrecy and anonymity,” he said.
“It is a crude weapon that can also harm innocent bystanders: family members, and people with similar names or appearances,” he added. “The reason to take it seriously is that its use is growing. That’s because it’s effective and it’s cheap and fairly simple to do.”
Georgetown University spokesmen did not respond to requests for comment for this article. Fair is currently on paid research leave, and her Tumblr doxxing blog can only be viewed by those with Tumblr accounts who turn off safe-mode.
Note: The two victims have been identified in this article by an initial bearing no correlation to their actual name.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen.