Are there any terms that are like "dox" but can be used in a non-internet setting?

Myanmar: women's fight against verbal taboo symbolises wider rights battle by the Guardian mentions behaviour similar to doxxing, but without it being internet-based:

She said she and other women’s rights activists had discovered their names, photos and phone numbers had been put on posters and displayed at monasteries associated with Ma Ba Tha.

I assume the term "doxxing" can't be used, as Wikipedia's article on it mentions that it's used in internet contexts, but I could be mistaken.

4 Answers 4


There is a term in British English.

name and shame mainly UK
to ​publicly say that a ​person, ​group, or ​business has done something ​wrong:
Cambridge Dictionaries Online

This may be done by publishing their details on a noticeboard, in a shop window or in a newspaper. Usually it is employed in Britain against petty criminals.


Named and shamed: a round-up of cases heard by Essex magistrates By Essex Chronicle | Posted: June 07, 2015


You can refer to personal data collection that can be understood in a non-internet context.

Example: Some companies with financial problems tried to sell their personal data collection in order to survive on the market.


The most official terms for such a practice in American Legal English would be a "Breach of Confidentiality", which is used in the medical, insurance and finance industries.

The closest single word would just be the term "leak" or "leaking." This is largely used in the political or military arenas, as defined in the following (emphasis mine)

The willingness of high government officials to release highly protected information for political or policy advantage undermines the credibility of many arguments against unauthorized release of information. This release often involves conduct that would be called 'leaking.' The release by government officials can be at least technically legal if it takes place after secret information is declassified or release can occur illegally through leaking to the press or to political allies.

(Source: The Successes and Failures of Whistleblower Laws, Robert G. Vaughn)

The idiomatic expressions of "airing dirty laundry", "washing dirty linens in public", "spilling their guts" or "uncovering skeletons in the closet" would also be close.


to out or to expose are good substitutes.

Example: Anonymous Tip Led To Outing Of J.K. Rowling's Alter Ego.

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    Welcome to EL&U. As you should know, a good StackExchange answer should explain why, not merely state an opinion, and include suitable examples and references. Please take the site tour and review the help center for additional guidance.
    – choster
    Nov 5, 2015 at 4:04
  • @choster thank you for helping me improve my hasty answer, which I thought was self explanatory. Nov 5, 2015 at 7:44

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