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23 Jun, 2020 11:39

'Terrorism': New York Times accused of ‘doxxing for clicks’ by popular, anonymous Slate Star Codex blogger

'Terrorism': New York Times accused of ‘doxxing for clicks’ by popular, anonymous Slate Star Codex blogger

The author behind the wildly popular blog, Slate Star Codex (SSC), has decided to go dark after a New York Times journalist said they would doxx them in an upcoming article, despite claiming it would be a “mostly positive piece.”

The blog, reportedly penned by a practicing psychiatrist under the name Scott Alexander, covers topics such as human cognition, politics and medicine, and shot to fame in recent months over its coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Scott Alexander claims they spoke to a New York Times tech reporter who apparently discovered the blog author's real name and said they would reveal it in an upcoming article, despite Alexander’s desire to maintain their anonymity for professional and personal reasons. 

“Some people want to kill me or ruin my life, and I would prefer not to make it too easy,” Alexander says in the only remaining blog post on Slate Star Codex, adding that their patients, “run the gamut from far-left anarchists to far-right gun nuts.”

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Alexander says they have received various death threats, that one person even put out a bounty on Reddit looking for information to track Slate Star Codex down and they claim that dissatisfied blog readers have called their place of work in an attempt to get them fired.  

Despite this list of reasons why they would prefer to remain anonymous, as well as claims that one of the other SSC contributors was SWATted, the as yet unnamed New York Times journalist dismissed Alexander’s fears of being doxxed, saying “I have enemies too.”

“Perhaps if he was less flippant about destroying people’s lives, he would have fewer,” Alexander writes adding that they took the blog down in order to generate “some discussion of NYT’s strategy of doxxing random bloggers for clicks.”

“If someone wants to write a hit piece about me, whatever, that’s life,” Alexander writes, saying they are willing to be punished for their crimes but not their virtues.

If someone thinks I am so egregious that I don’t deserve the mask of anonymity, then I guess they have to name me, the same way they name criminals and terrorists.

The online commentariat of skeptics, rationalists and political pundits all decried the New York Time’s apparent willingness to doxx bloggers whose work runs counter to the mainstream narrative. Conservative filmmaker Mike Cernovich likened the newspapers’ actions as akin to “terrorism”.

In the blog post, Alexander claims they will continue writing elsewhere, under different but obvious pseudonyms and may consider republishing SSC if the New York Times “promises to rethink their strategy of doxxing random bloggers for clicks.”

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