A note on doxing

There have been a few cases lately where forum members have - with the best of intentions - compiled data from public sources about people and re-shared it. In some places this was from other sites (like Facebook); in other cases it’s been compiling information about people from this forum itself.

I’ve added a note to the guidelines, and will be enforcing this from here on: people can post whatever they want about themselves, but you may not collect and repost information about other people. Some examples might help, so…


  • Quoting people
  • “Chris, your webpage is amazing” (you don’t provide the link)
  • A spreadsheet where people volunteer information about their Glowforge orders

Not OK:

  • Sharing information or links about people that you found yourself or that were told in private (‘Chris is from Duluth; it says so on Facebook’)
  • Researching someone on the forum so you can contact them off the forum - e.g. mailing them something to their home address (sending them a message on the forum is a great way to offer a 1:1 connection)
  • Modifying a list of people without the affected people’s permission (“here are people who posted that they received their Glowforge”, “I researched how often they posted and added that information”)

All three of these counter-examples happened recently.

As with so many things, this is subjective, and circumstances vary. I will look at posts that are flagged or generate concern first. Absent clear ill intent or prior problems, I’ll warn before taking action.

Thanks as always for being awesome, and please continue being awesome to each other.


Doxing (from dox, abbreviation of documents), or doxxing, is the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting private or identifiable information

Your last example is not Doxing. Collating publicly available information is not doxing. It isn’t much different from quoting or the weekly summaries @Jules makes. If somebody says “my Glowforge was delivered today” in a public forum what is the problem putting that in a spreadsheet? And “researching how often they posted” is simply clicking on their icon to get information Discourse makes public.

Obviously some folks have complained about someone other than themselves posting their information, so Dan is taking it down. No one can stop an individual from compiling a private list if they want to, but publishing it just to use it to gin up resentment doesn’t accomplish anything productive. And it makes those still waiting feel even worse. (The part that Dan is trying to avoid, I believe.)

Make a private list if you want to…I do.


Note to self, don’t piss off @Jules


Chuckle! I’m not really that bad-ass you know. I tend to be a very forgiving sort. :smile:


Move to Canada, you’ll fit right in :stuck_out_tongue:

You may need a coat…


I’d need two or three topcoats and a basecoat. :smile: (Me and cold don’t get along too well anymore.)


But they have already posted it in a public forum for all to see. It isn’t private information somebody has dug up. For all I know it was put in the spreadsheet contemporaneously.

Collating the information is a completely neutral operation. It is just a factual summary. I don’t know how that is ginning up.

Definition of gin something up in English:

Generate or increase something, especially by dubious or dishonest means.

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She’ll send the Hedge Hog Brigade after you!


Doxing. Who knew?
Some people obviously, because it’s a thing, there’s even a word for it.


Ooooo, it just came to me. There must be some things, for which there is NO WORD.
I’ll leave you to sleep on that one. :grinning:


I’d never heard it either before yesterday when Dan used it. :grinning:


In that case, they can simply remove it. The spreadsheet is open to public editing.

I personally contributed to the list. I didn’t add my information for the purposes of ginning up resentment.

I found the other information on there insightful. By being able to see that people are in fact receiving their orders, it resolved my anxiety about my investment.

It seems to me that the bigger concern to GF may have been the trends the data was appearing to reveal (mainly that Regular users were receiving their orders before others, sometimes even those who ordered more than a year after the 1st day).

Some may resent that. To me, it makes perfect business sense. Get these into the hands of those most likely to post about it, which will generate positive buzz and excitement. If you ship the first units to the crickets, you’re not getting much PR.


It was simply confirming a policy that Dan publicly stated would be the case. It doesn’t make much difference to the rest of us. The main thing is it reveals is how few machines have gone out.


If you chose to contribute, that’s fine. Other people did not choose to add that information, and were not consulted before their information was added, and they objected to that.

If you have your machine now, congratulations. If not, think about how you’re going to feel when another couple of months have gone by and you still don’t have your machine. Is it going to be something you obsess over? Is the spreadsheet going to be something that you use to try to see why this guy got his before you, even though he ordered later? Think you might come to resent it then?

The whole idea is to keep folks from feeling that they are somehow less important than someone else who has already gotten their machines, and it’s a reasonable idea, given how absolutely rabid people are about getting these things.

We have all been waiting a really long time. I don’t understand why some people would want to torture themselves with something we have absolutely no control over. (No matter how many spreadsheets are put together…we’re not going to see the pattern, and it’s not going to speed up delivery.)

If it makes you feel better though…have fun. No one is stopping you from putting together spreadsheets, or stopping anyone from participating in them voluntarily. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I guess they would nibble my ankles off till I tip over onto their spikes. Evil genius plan there @Jules

On doxing…

If you find wiki articles on neologism interesting, then this might float your :sailboat:

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Welcome to the Internet!! :wink:

The “Meet my new GF” posts are already out there. The order dates are already out there. The genie is out of the bottle.

People who are going to stress and be jealous or resentful of others are going to do so whether there is a spreadsheet or not.

I actually view the spreadsheet differently:

More information can be a good thing. Look at all the goodwill GF has earned by being (fairly) open about what is going on. This has kept most people very happy, in spite of looooong delays.

When the initial people that were bumped up in the line (something we were already told to expect) have received their units, and we start to see the rest of them go out (mostly) in order, the excitement will build.

I do believe the reason that most people have added their name to that list (myself included) is for the fun and excitement of having an idea of when their unit is coming.

I don’t think it’s torture.


Valid points. :slightly_smiling_face: