Suppose I make the following statement: "There should be no quota for women or minorities in any sort of company, people should be hired based on their capabilities, regardless of their gender or skin color".

There are people who are going to disagree with that. There could be a discussion about it and things could be learned from said discussion, while people respect each other's rights to have a different opinion.

And then there are going to be people who not only disagree, but claim to be offended by it in such a way that they feel it necessary to try and ruin people's lives for adhering to said opinion. Who will try to find your personal information and post it online in the hopes that someone attacks you for sharing said opinion. This is a practice known as "doxxing". They will send anonymous death threats and go to sites like reddit or forums which have a userbase which they agree with, share the URL in which you stated this opinion, in an attempt to get as many people as possible in on trying to destroy your life.

These people seem to believe this vigilante behavior is somehow justified and necessary. That instead of discussion and education and even questioning their own beliefs, the way to achieve your goals is by eradicating all opposition.

So my question is: is this system of going after someone because they have an opinion you don't like, a indicator of a psychological disorder? If so, which one?

And finally, where do people learn that this is acceptable behavior?


closed as primarily opinion-based by theMayer, Seanny123, Krysta, Artem Kaznatcheev Dec 3 '14 at 19:12

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ It sounds more like indignation than a mental disorder. It's something everybody is capable of when they feel they are in the right and someone else is in the wrong. $\endgroup$ – Keegan Keplinger Nov 2 '14 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ @KeeganKeplinger The term "Indignation" has an innocent ring to it. I associate that more with feeling bad about something but leaving it at that. I'm describing a situation where people go out of their way to make you look like a horrible person, even post where you live online in the hopes that someone decides to use that information to find you and hurt you. I feel like you didn't read my entire text, just the headline. $\endgroup$ – KdgDev Nov 2 '14 at 18:26
  • $\begingroup$ yeah i will list some pathologies $\endgroup$ – user6939 Nov 2 '14 at 21:55
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You interpret both the statement as well as the reaction of these people, but your interpretation is colored by your own preconceptions and not necessarily objective. What you see as a neutral statement may in fact be heavily biased and objectively offensive to anyone not having the same prejudices as you. What you perceive as a mere "claim" (that word shows your bias) to be offended might therefore be real and legitimate offense, possibly shared by more people than you think and only suppressed by those who are afraid to be ostracized. $\endgroup$ – user3116 Nov 3 '14 at 13:06
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    $\begingroup$ The question is very general and all-encompassing. It gives extreme examples, but it is phrased in a way that other, milder forms of expressing offense are also covered by it. If you want to discuss death threats in particular, then focus the question and chose an appropriate title. As it stands, the question asks about "being hyper-offended no matter the cause", but the example gives a legitimate cause for offense. And the question subsumes thousands of people with all kinds of different behavior under one question, pathologizing them all. That is just the kind of behavior it asks about! $\endgroup$ – user3116 Nov 4 '14 at 7:58

You're not describing a vigilante but an Avengers. No on Cap. America, Princess Thor and Hulk but the kind of self focused individuals who view the world only how they are affected. Vigilantes are people who decide to enforce a law which is not being enforced by the government Avengers make their own laws. Sometimes avenging a wrong is justified as righteous behaviour in America. A business rips you off? Dispute the transaction with the mediating credit card company. Someone breaks something you own? File a civil case. Buy a Red Bull, Don't get wings? Join the class action lawsuit and get 10 bucks. Doctor screws you over with bad service or meds? File a complaint against their license. That behaviour adheres to the norms of of culture some of which is leaking into to other societies.

The kind of Avenging you describe does not adhere to the norms of our society though and is considered pathological. They have a perpetual victim mentality due to some hurt that happened in their past or some way they hurt someone in their past which they are not able to face as their responsibility. They also could have just been hit in the head or blood vessel popped causing brain injury. All types are bullies. They may think their actions are for the cause. Foremost in their thoughts is purity, morality and correctness: intellectual purity of the academic institute or webpage, the political and religious purity of the society, racial and physical purity of humanity. They think their support is empathic to the cause and world but really they are just sadistically getting high off someone elses pain. Often sadistic people were abused as children and have love and pain confused on some level. Many murders had bad relationships with their father figures and never learned to be their own parent or the work they did as their own parent was not rational.

In exteme cases these individuals do actual acts of terrorism like Timothy Mcveigh. They have long since aired their grievances generally about one specific topic before they become violent. You'll want to watch Criminal Minds s1e13 Poison for an indepth amount of dramatization on the type.

Creating an artificial intelligence to find individuals who are in danger of becoming violent would be quite easy but the FBI has not seen fit to commision such work.

Originally you asked about antisocial personality disorder or as most people call it sociopathy. This is a citation of DSM 5 describing the disorder numbered 301.7.

A. A pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others, occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three (or more) of the following:

  1. Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors, as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest.

  2. Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure.

  3. Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead.

  4. Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults.

  5. Reckless disregard for safety of self or others.

  6. Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations.

  7. Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.

B. The individual is at least age 18 years.

C. There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years.

D. The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of schizo­phrenia or bipolar disorder.

Diagnostic Features

The essential feature of antisocial personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood. This pattern has also been referred to as psychopathy, sociopathy, or dyssocial personality disorder. Because deceit and manipulation are central features of an­tisocial personality disorder, it may be especially helpful to integrate information acquired from systematic clinical assessment with information collected from collateral sources. For this diagnosis to be given, the individual must be at least age 18 years (Criterion B) and must have had a history of some symptoms of conduct disorder before age 15 years (Criterion C). Conduct disorder involves a repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are vio­lated. The specific behaviors characteristic of conduct disorder fall into one of four cate­gories: aggression to people and animals, destruction of property, deceitfulness or theft, or serious violation of rules.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the information. Though what you say about the FBI implementing something to detect it gives me a "Minority Report" vibe. $\endgroup$ – KdgDev Nov 3 '14 at 0:35
  • $\begingroup$ @KdgDev your very welcome $\endgroup$ – user6939 Nov 3 '14 at 0:40

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