Because, well, blackmail of my history, my pages, my connections, my friends.
“Doxing (from dox, abbreviation of documents), or doxxing, is the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual.”
Over a week and a half ago, Facebook contacted me as it had come to their attention that “Saturn Darkhope” was perhaps not my legal name. Oh, sorry, “authentic” name, and that I should supply documentation to prove that it is my name in order to keep access to my account.
What followed was a dance, and a better one that has happened to other pagans who were locked out without warning (I was not summarily locked out, I had a week to supply documentation and opportunity to supply additional documentation when the first wasn’t accepted).
But in the end, I lost because while Saturn is my authentic name in realistic terms, because I don’t use it for mundane things like bus passes, phone bills or credit cards, I could not “prove” it was an “authentic” name to Facebook.
So I had a choice. Let over 5 years of history, my Abysmal Witch page, my various local groups and events and personal connections built up over all this time go down the drain…or let Facebook dox me.
Let Facebook tell all of these people my legal name. Let Facebook “out” me by telling everyone on facebook information that I had kept private for all of this time.
I have agreed to this road now, yes. But not without hurt, not without anger and not without a healthy dose of concern for whether this will make it far too easy for someone who finds me unacceptable and worthy of online harassment because I’m a witch and public about it, to find me.
I feel exposed, violated, and oddly grieving for my Saturn side*. We got royally screwed today. Seeing it coming did not, apparently, make it any better.
You could say it was a choice. And that’s fair. It was a choice. I have chosen to let Facebook dox me rather than lose connection with a lot of wonderful people. But it doesn’t mean I’m happy about it.
If you want to find me on Facebook, you can like my page: The Abysmal Witch. You won’t find me, though, as Saturn Darkhope no longer exists on Facebook. There may come a day when I tell you how to find that legal version of me, when I feel safe enough to do so. This is not this day.
And the amusing kicker to it all? I already had a Facebook profile with my legal name for all the parts of my life that do apply to that name. So now there’s two of me on Facebook. How fucked up is that?
the Abysmal Witch
*While I am still me, still Saturn, regardless of the name in use, there was a joy and a power and a connection in using my spiritual name on a daily basis to interact with other spiritual people. I already feel that loss. I love my other name, it’s a good name, but it isn’t Saturn, it isn’t this side of me.