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Doxxing ain’t what it used to be. For those unfamiliar with the term, doxxing usually refers to a practice whereby hit-piece journalists expose a pseudonymous right-wing personality’s information for the purposes of getting him fired and generally ruining his reputation.

Superficially, the latest doxxing effort against pseudonymous “Lomez,” founder of Passage Press, bore all the hallmarks of past cancellation pushes that have borne substantial fruit. There was the smug gloating from pedophile-lookalike Jason Wilson about the sneaky ways he discovered Lomez’s identity. There was the compilation of twenty-year-old blog posts and obscure article comments that were dredged up with the intent of wrecking Lomez’s reputation. There was the creepy effort put into tracking down old family members and classmates to get info like Lomez’s middle-school nickname.


This person has been stalking “Lomez” for months. He is a Portland-based ANTIFA activist paid by a multi-billion dollar media conglomerate to harass people. He’s been emailing and texting presumed former colleagues. Texting my wife. Attempting to get friends fired from their jobs for merely knowing me. Invoking my deceased father. Threatening to “expose” my blog posts from 20 years ago, my high school and college athletic achievements (please do), and even my nickname from middle-school. A truly deranged individual.

And it all added up to, mercifully, pretty much nothing. Among the mainstream, the story landed with a thud. Passage Press, which publishes a variety of interesting and politically correct books, saw its book sales soar. Nobody had his life destroyed or even very badly inconvenienced. Not only did Lomez have no “real” job to be fired from, there was no annihilation of his good name either. No public figures disavowed him. In fact, practically from the start, the story of the Lomez doxxing effort centered on how lame and ineffectual it was, rather than anything contained in the Guardian piece itself.

That’s all a good thing and a relief. Embarrassingly enough, just a few years ago, Wilson’s obnoxious tattletale piece might have worked, turning Lomez into a pariah others feared to publicly associate with.

It’s easy to forget how easily cancellations could happen in the past. Just look at two of the people involved with Revolver. Darren Beattie was turfed out of the Trump White House because, two years earlier, he spoke at an event on a panel that also contained VDare editor Peter Brimelow. Blake Neff, a longtime writer for Revolver News, lost his job as Tucker Carlson’s writer for posting on and simply being present in threads where other people used the N-word (the worst “slur” Neff himself had used was calling dining connoisseurs “foodie faggots” six years prior). Fox News denounced Neff’s statements as “horrific” and forced Tucker Carlson to make a Very Serious Statement on his show the following Monday. Both Beattie and Neff led the U.S. news cycle for a day when they were targeted, and both stories received international coverage.

But from 2021 onward, the power of doxxing has waned, and its power to wreck a person’s life is much diminished.

That’s a good thing. But don’t celebrate yet. Because, before the regime loses its power to destroy entirely, it instead has more powerful tools to bring against its enemies.

Let’s take a brief look at why “cancel culture” seems so much weaker now and why this victory is just one small win in a larger war that is not yet won.

Herd Immunity

To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, you can get everybody angry about some things and some people angry about everything, but you can’t get everybody angry about everything all the time. One of the simplest reasons that the doxxing superweapon isn’t so super anymore is that, quite simply, it was overused.

With every canceled person, the list of badthinkers one was supposed to avoid got longer. For a long time, this lengthening list simply increased the sense of terror felt by potential targets, but eventually a tipping point was reached: instead of keeping everyone terrified, there were simply so many talented canceled people that there was a critical mass of people who just wanted to ignore the problem entirely.

After a while, practically everyone in the world of MAGA-adjacent politics personally knew someone targeted by a cancel mob. Cancellation works through social isolation, and the simple truth is, if you try to isolate everyone, you isolate no one.

But a particularly important tipping point was reached in 2020. For most of the Trump years, the grounds for “cancellation” were mostly holding dissenting views on sensitive topics of race and gender. But as the Biden era began, those categories expanded to include any kind of dissenting view on COVID-19 (whether on the disease’s origins, lockdown policy, or vaccine efficacy), as well as alternative views on the validity of the 2020 election. This was a fatal mistake. Not only did this dilute the press’s power to declare topics off-limits, but it also overstretched them into spaces where there was a much higher number of dissenters in general. Fully half the country, or more, rejected lockdowns or believed Biden’s 2020 “victory” was fraudulent, and once they learned that believing this was a “cancel-worthy” offense, they were far less likely to see cancellation as legitimate in any other case.

Rhetorical Exhaustion

Astute observers will remember that the 2020 George Floyd explosion didn’t come out of nowhere. Instead, 2020 was the culmination of a long build-up lasting about eight years. Starting with the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases, the press wrote more and more about supposed “racism,” gave more and more attention to the supposed “murder” of black men by police, and whipped more and more people into an agitated state about race in America. By the time of Trump’s election, it was already routine to joke about everything being racist, and the joke was barely a joke since practically everything was labeled racist at one point or another.

There was plenty of mockery to go around, but this overwrought emotional pornography worked on a lot of people. This is how you got people sobbing in their offies, which is how we got sights like Mitt Romney marching in D.C. BLM parades.

But the Floyd “racial reckoning” and spasm of riots was the moment where all this buildup boiled over. After the spasmodic explosion of rage in 2020, with smashed statues, burned cities, and ruined lives, its energy was spent. People had heard the press howling about racism and fascism for years on end, and not only had it grown tiring, but it had ended in mobs ruining cities.

According to Wikipedia, there have been dozens of unarmed black men killed by police since 2020; how many of them have you heard of? Every now and then, the press tries to whip up a public frenzy over one, but it’s always failed. The public doesn’t like this game anymore. And, to a large extent, the same goes for targeting public figures over their social media posts and forum comment histories.

Learning by Doing

Rather than taking out dozens of people all at once, the regime’s cancellation engine has largely worked by singling out one person at a time to receive the Two Minutes Hate for a particular news cycle. These many separate instances have, in essence, offered many replays of a strategic game. Over time, observers have learned what works and what doesn’t when it comes to responding to media-driven lynch mobs.

Most obviously, many have managed to learn from the example of Donald Trump, who has proven to be the most cancel-proof individual of all. Nobody on earth is capable of precisely matching The Donald, of course, but many of his specific strategies can still be profitably copied.

What are the core Donald Trump rules for fighting media attacks? You know them well: don’t accept the enemy’s framing, never give them moral authority, always counterpunch, and definitely never apologize.

But it’s not just Trump rules that help. Over time, more and more organizations are learning the helpful rule that when it comes to media-fueled struggle sessions, one of the best weapons is silence.

HuffPost’s attempted takedown of Substack blogger Richard Hanania is instructive. What stands out in the article is the sheer lack of comment given for the piece. Sen. JD Vance called Hanania a “friend” and “really interesting thinker.” When asked to comment on Hanania’s old pseudonymous writings, Vance simply refused to play, not even replying to HuffPost’s pre-publication email (have we mentioned lately that Vance would be a good Veep pick?). Similarly, the Salem Center at UT-Austin, the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Yale’s Federalist Society, George Mason’s Mercatus Center, and many other people and organizations all simply ignored HuffPost or offered no comment.

In most cases, this is demonstrably the correct way to handle any cancellation push. A cancellation frenzy substantially relies on the statements of its target, or the target’s sponsors and associates, to give itself fuel. Refusing to say anything is like denying oxygen to a fire: If the target isn’t saying anything and nobody around them is saying anything, what is there to report on? What’s the follow-up?

Consider the cases of Beattie and Neff mentioned above: suppose the White House had simply declined to comment on Beattie’s panel appearance, or suppose Fox News had totally ignored a hitpiece on Tucker’s writer. Almost certainly, the stories would have died faster, and less damage would have been done to their secondary targets, the Trump Administration and Tucker Carlson.

Social Media Changes

Changes in the nature of social media have substantially limited the energy of cancellation efforts. Elon Musk’s very public disavowal of many of the left’s orthodoxies, coupled with his purchase of the most significant social media platform for the dissemination of political ideas, has substantially weakened the impact of so-called “cancel culture.”

The simple fact that politically heterodox Twitter accounts are rarely banned anymore means that it is now possible for cancelled people to reach a large audience and thus make a living. This has contributed to the more general trend that it has become easier in the past several years for those involved in sensitive political activity to monetize and even make a living off of their efforts. Whereas years ago people with normal office jobs were more likely to have been behind a popular and influential political account, it is increasingly the case that political accounts influential enough to merit a hit-piece are self-sustaining, small businesses unto themselves.

Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter didn’t just make speech much freer; it also led to the unbanning of hundreds of accounts. We should also note that it caused a lot of the worst journalists to quit Twitter in rage. Some have migrated to lame competitors that have failed to gain traction. Have you clicked a Bluesky link in the past six months? Yeah, neither have we.

The bluecheck exodus (which Revolver predicted) had a real impact on the machinery of doxxing. It’s not just that Twitter was a useful platform for angry articles and denunciations to go viral. It’s also the platform where it is easiest for enraged cattle to make mooing noises at institutions: just @ a major company’s account, and very soon its internal PR parasites will be moved to action.

Twitter/X isn’t the only platform that changed, though. Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook has also deemphasized political content, both cutting the virality of left-wing hitpieces and also choking off revenue for many of the publications that created them, like Vice, Buzzfeed, and HuffPost.

The Credibility Gap

George Floyd Summer wasn’t the only 2020 event that sent doxxing and cancel culture into retreat. COVID-19 played a role, too.

The regime invested a huge amount of its credibility into its COVID responses. The public was ordered into lockdowns, work from home, school closures, and compulsory vaccinations with an argument that was, more or less, “trust us,”  and most people went along with it. Censorship, in the name of fighting “misinformation,” was pervasive and sweeping. Even mentioning a potential lab origin for COVID was censored. More than any time before or since, ordinary rules of government were thrown out to let “the experts” rule like dictators. And they botched it horrendously. It’s not just that lockdowns didn’t work. Health “experts” couldn’t even formulate a consistent set of rules at all. They adopted manifestly insane policies, like holding that large outside gatherings were too dangerous to allow unless they were protests against “systemic racism.”

Ever since, the regime’s “credibility crisis” has become more acute. The powers that be were given more power than ever, and they proved themselves not just wrong but genuinely malevolent and unstable.

Don’t Celebrate Just Yet 

So, the good news is that cancel culture is weaker, and in particular, its power over the organized American right is far weaker. A rising star writer, publisher, politician, or activist is much less likely to get blasted to smithereens because somebody leaks their emails or finds their username from a decade ago.

But there’s a lot more to public life than politics. Most people don’t work as right-wing writers, think tankers, or Hill staffers. Most people (*gasp*) have real jobs or a fake job in a government bureaucracy. And in those places, the mindsets that drive cancel culture remain very strong.

Sure, Lomez is fine, but have you heard anything about poor Joseph Morais? We will hazard a guess that you haven’t. But just days ago, Morais lost his job as an engineering project manager due to a social media post attributing Woonsocket’s low crime rates to its mostly white population. There are no articles celebrating his family or his invulnerability to a left-wing takedown.

There are a lot more people in the world whose lives resemble Joseph Morais’s than there are people whose lives resemble Lomez’s. This is especially the case at many of America’s most elite institutions. If Passage Press were still Lomez’s side job and his day job was as an investment banker, Vault 100 lawyer, or FAANG programmer, his story might have a less happy ending. People who hold those jobs today know this, and it is likely to stay that way for many years. The tyranny of the HR gremlin looms large in American life and will take many years to tear down.

It may be much easier to survive cancellation, but our movement doesn’t just want to survive; it wants to thrive. It wants to rise to the heights of power and overthrow a ruling clique and ideology that has discredited itself. And right now, it’s still true that for those with very high human capital in non-political industries, a doxxing piece is still highly limiting. Even if one doesn’t lose a job, it limits the ones they can pursue in the future. It’s an explicit barrier to future promotion in a way that a far-left past never is. Doing business successfully in an elite field is already exceptionally challenging. Doing it when you’re doxed is beyond expert mode. The right doesn’t currently possess anything interesting. The only thing they can offer is an accepting social circle and some purchasing power for whatever knickknacks you sell (books, supplements, swag, maybe podcasts). As long as that’s the case, doxxing will remain a threat in American life.

What Now?

And even for those who are in the political space, there is another thing to consider: if doxxing and socially-driven “cancellation” are receding as viable regime weapons for ideological control, there are other weapons there to replace them.

Cancellation is a powerful tool of soft social control. It’s the power to get dozens, if not hundreds, of people and organizations to collude to isolate a person and demolish their life without having to exercise a single law or employ the state’s monopoly on organized violence. But never forget: The regime still has those tools. So as the soft tool of doxxing wanes, expect the regime to increase its use of more direct methods of ideological control.

For a glimpse at what is to come, just look at the names you’ve seen in court the last few years: Alex Jones, Douglass Mackey, and, of course, Donald J. Trump.

Consider the case of Alex Jones. If Jones were a “normal” host, with a show on Fox or the Daily Wire, taking him down would have been a simple matter of getting his mainstream sponsor to fire him. But with Jones, this failed. Even moves to deplatform his show online and to ban him from major social media websites failed to fully silence him. And so, finally, the regime empowered civil lawsuits against Jones. As we wrote two years ago, the defamation claim against Jones was preposterously thin. Simply by making vaguely conspiratorial insinuations about the Sandy Hook shooting and at one point asking an InfoWars reporter to “clarify” a statement more specifically accusing one person, Jones was held to have “defamed” two Sandy Hook parents and was hit with a civil judgment of $150 million. But that merely nine-figure sum was not enough; a subsequent case hit Jones with a judgment of $1.5 billion, and one group of Sandy Hook families floated the idea of seeking a judgment of $2.75 trillion. For comparison, that’s larger than the entire economic output of Texas, the state Jones lives in, or Brazil.

Similarly, the sham criminal cases against Donald Trump are easily understood as the follow-up to several less-powerful strategies that failed to reign Trump in. Targeting his businesses failed. Sweeping lawsuits failed. Deplatforming him off of social media failed. Trump still insisted on running again in 2024, so what option was left? At this point, there are really only two, both favorites of thuggish tinpot regimes the world over: stick Trump in jail on spurious charges, or pursue the “ultimate cancellation” of, well, you fill in the blank.

But Douglass Mackey is probably the best example of all. Unlike Jones or Trump, he was an anon when he committed his “offenses.” He was targeted not for public political activity but for private actions. And yet, nevertheless, the Department of Justice went through the effort of warping a 150-year-old law, the Ku Klux Klan Act, so that it could justify trying to throw Mackey in prison for posting an anti-Hillary Clinton meme.

Expect the Mackey model to be employed more and more often, on flimsier and flimsier pretexts. Because when a regime can’t use shame to destroy its foes, there is always force.