After Washington Post (WaPo) reporter Taylor Lorenz, who quite recently described doxxing [revealing personal information about a subject] as “not okay in any situation,” doxxed the writer behind the LibsofTikTok Twitter account, WaPo Managing Editor Cameron Barr issued a statement saying that “Taylor Lorenz is an accomplished and diligent journalist whose reporting methods comport entirely with The Washington Post’s professional standards,” and claiming that “We do not publish or link to any details about [LibsofTikTok’s] personal life.”
To the contrary, the WaPo article highlighted that the subject had, under a previous anonymous Twitter handle, identified herself as an Orthodox Jew, a fact entirely unrelated to the larger story. The original version of the article also linked to the subject’s real estate license, complete with address; WaPo removed that link as social media criticism of the piece intensified.
Rabbi Yaakov Menken, Managing Director of the Coalition for Jewish Values, an organization representing over 2,000 traditional, Orthodox rabbis in matters of public policy, made the following statement:
The Washington Post’s behavior here is simply unacceptable. Jews constitute a small minority, yet are disproportionally targeted by hate crimes. An individual Jew, especially a visibly Orthodox Jew, is thus most likely per capita to be the victim of a hate crime in America today, by far. Given this context, identifying the Twitter user as an Orthodox Jewish woman placed her at heightened risk of physical harm. The Post not only did this, but then defended itself by insisting that her membership in our community was not a personal detail.
That ludicrous denial is extremely offensive, bordering on anti-Semitic, especially at a time when media outlets routinely mask ethnicity details regarding members of every other minority group. If this is what The Washington Post describes as its “professional standards,” we call upon the paper to upgrade those standards immediately.