18-year-old actress Skai Jackson has made it her mission to expose racist behavior on her social platforms. After the killing of George Floyd and the country’s collective protests against racial injustice and police brutality against the Black community, Skai has dedicated herself to help move the movement further and hold people accountable for their behavior.
Skai told Entertainment Tonight that after hearing about racist bullying for her own fans, she “[realized] that she could do something to help,” which involves exposing the bullies’ names and tagging their schools, colleges, and employers to “spark real-world consequences.”
Skai has been very open about how she doesn’t feel bad about taking people down in such a public way. “I mean, my thing is, if you don’t like, if you don’t support it, then obviously it says something about you yourself. In the back of my head, I was a little bit worried about it. I don’t know what — is this gonna harm me? But in my opinion, I feel like it’s done more justice for me and other people,” she said.
She added, “People can say whatever they want. But if you’re that bold on a public platform and say these things, please don’t get mad when someone addresses it...If you don’t want people to know, if you don’t want people to be mad, then you simply shouldn’t have made those videos and made those statements.” However, some are wondering if Skai is actually putting people in real danger, that what Skai is doing is actually doxing.
First: What did Skai Jackson do?
Skai has been posting the identities of racists, which usually involves their full names and social media handles.
However, she has stated that she specifically will not post their addresses, even though Twitter users have given her the information (and sometimes reply to some of Skai’s posts with private information about the people she’s exposing). “Also, please don’t send me anyone’s address. I won’t be posting that.. these people have said horrible things but posting someone’s address is going a little too far. Let’s hope they all live, and learn from this situation and educate themselves,” Skai wrote in a tweet.
Also, please don’t send me anyone’s address. I won’t be posting that.. these people have said horrible things but posting someone’s address is going a little too far. Let’s hope they all live, and learn from this situation and educate themselves— Skai Jackson (@skaijackson) June 6, 2020
Skai has already gotten in trouble with Twitter once — she was banned for 12 hours for reposting racist behavior from others. She’s also gotten threats to be sued.
But is what Skai is doing illegal? Is it truly doxing?
Doxing is, according to this paper published by the Creighton Law Review, “a form of cyber-harassment that involves ‘the public release of personal information that can be used to identify or locate an individual,’ such as as the person’s home address, email address, phone number, or other contact information.”
While Skai isn’t trying to provide enough information for people to find out where people physically live, people are concerned that she’s still encouraging others to verbally harass others and put them in danger. On top of that, Skai is mainly posting information about minors.
It's not hard to find the homes of a person solely based on name, literally just go to whitepages with the last name with the address being the ZIP code area of the school. It's fucked up shit to share this info of people— Elementony33 (@elementony33) June 17, 2020
However, Skai argues that all she’s doing is reposting the person’s public information. She’s not hacking or exposing anything that’s not already out there. It gets kind of tricky, legally-speaking, because the law states that it’s only doxing if you illegally obtained that person’s information (like hacking into their email).
“Is it illegal to dox minors” Generally speaking, doxxing is not illegal. It's legal to publicize information that is already public, like for example available in public records. There is no such crime as "illegal doxxing".— smalltown698 (@smalltown698) June 16, 2020
On the other hand, Skai is purposely posting people’s identities as a form of punishment. FindLaw states if “doxing is done with the intent to threaten or harass someone, or leads to threats or harassment, those actions can be illegal.” It seems like the legality behind Skai’s vigilantism is murky.
Now, people are doxing Skai.
Several Twitter users are sharing Skai’s address and phone number, putting the actress in danger herself. This seems to be coming from people who are racist and don’t like that Skai is exposing racist behavior. And obviously, this is not okay and puts Skai in harm’s way.
The bottom line? Skai has definitely been pushing buttons — but she has a valid point. If the people who are displaying acts of racism don’t want others to see it, why behave that way publicly (or at all)?
If you are looking for ways to donate your time or money to Black Lives Matter and other antiracist organizations, we have created a list of resources to get you started.