Some political groups use the practice of threatening people with sharing screenshots of an online discussion to the debate opponent's employer, to get the debate opponent fired. This seems like an illegal practice but the people making these threats appear unconcerned about legal penalties.

Is there any law for such practice which might fall into the category of doxxing, coercion, harassment or similar actions?


1 Answer 1


Under Florida law such behavior could be characterized as extortion, also known as blackmail.



Florida Statutes Section 836.05

Elements of Extortion

Threat: The prosecutor must prove that the defendant made a verbal or written threat. The threat might imply physical harm death, or even psychological harm to the recipient of the threat, to another person, or to property, if the victim does not comply. Alternatively, the defendant might threaten to reveal a secret, accuse the victim of a crime, or otherwise harm the threatened person's reputation. Under Florida law, the defendant may threaten to do either an unlawful or lawful act. Extortion can include the threat of a legal act, as long as the prosecutor can show that the defendant acted maliciously.

Intent: The prosecutor must show that the defendant had intent to gain financially, receive property, or otherwise compel the victim to do any act against the victim's will. However, Florida law does not require an intent to actually carry out the threat or an ability to perform the threatened act.

Because some laws are intentionally not enforced, certain criminal activities are allowed to persist and become big problems.

The whole business of methodically and conspiratorially using fear of loss of employment to keep people quiet and void of any serious opinions, is a political tactic, a form of terrorism.

The only sure way to keep yourself aligned with your employer's political, religious, or cultural preferences, would be if you are self-employed. But our economic system, as it is, does not allow for the majority of people to be self-employed. So that is asking the impossible.

Hence, employees are routinely pressured to deprive themselves of free speech, under threat of losing their jobs, which is their livelihood. Honest people cannot survive long in our economy, without income. So it is a serious threat. Loss of employment for political reasons negatively impacts not just employees, but whole families and communities.

To demand that employees must subjugate their political preferences by keeping them in line with their employers' --or-- deprive themselves of the right to free speech, is a violation of basic human rights.

The legitimately right way to obtain compliance from others, would be through reason and persuasion -- assuming there is good enough reason for it, and that you are persuasive enough. That is how a democracy is supposed to function.

But individuals or organizations who seek to deprive others of free speech, with acts of blackmail or extortion, involving threats and terror, are essentially stealing the political consensus / compliance they desire, rather than honestly and respectfully earning it. They are un-American and treasonous, because they seek to undermine and subvert our Bill of Rights. They're criminals.

It is an important issue, which has been neglected far too long. It is perhaps the key issue which will determine for Americans the preservation of future pursuits of Happiness, Liberty, and Life -- or the lack thereof. Americans, because American law is at stake here.

  • 1
    This answer is like 70% rant and 20% rabid conspiracy theorist mumblings. It would be far better with everything after the block quote removed.
    – cHao
    Commented Jan 2, 2018 at 5:39

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