The Burn Book…of Shadows?

The Burn Book…of Shadows? January 22, 2022

I was asked to give my thoughts on a current Witchtok trend concerning witch and pagan accounts being divided into “safelists” and “blacklists.” My understanding is that a Tiktok creator created a Discord server whereby people could submit accounts they feel should be added to either the “safelist” or “blacklist” with an accompanying reason. This whole thing screams Burn Book from “Mean Girls”. I’ll tell you something real: I finally had to download Tiktok just to see what the hell was going on. Yikes, y’all.

Photo by Freddy Kearney on Unsplash.

“Raise your hand if you have ever been personally victimized by Regina George.”
– Ms. Norbury, “Mean Girls”

While I understand the desire to have lists like these, the reality is that they’re being used to make ad hominem attacks against people. The other aspect of this reality is that public ad hominem attacks, or attacks against a person’s character rather than the position they’re holding, can lead to lawsuits. How? If your public defamation of another person results in their loss of income or otherwise impacts their livelihood then you’re setting yourself up for a lawsuit.

A dislike of someone based on their opinions, looks, beliefs, or any other protected status does not justify defamation. All it would take to put this to rest is if a group of blacklisted creators banded together to make a lawsuit against the creator of those lists and any person who submitted names to them. 

The other aspect of this is that submitting names to these lists endangers the person(s) added to the lists. How? The potential for doxxing is very real, folks. All it takes is one person to figure out where someone lives or works and either post that information publicly or decide to take matters into their own hands. People are crazy, y’all. Crazy. If you’re willing to dox an Internet stranger then be prepared for when you’ll be doxxed in return. You’ll receive very little sympathy, I’m sure.

A Reality Checklist:

  1. If you or anyone you know is participating in this insidious behavior by adding names to either list, you are setting yourself up for defamation and life endangerment lawsuits.

  2. If you do not like someone or the content they create then simply unfollow them and move on. 
  3. If someone is posting harmful content then report the account to the platform it belongs to so that legal, safe action can be taken.

  4. If you think that the Internet affords you any type of anonymity then you’re delusional. Your every move is being recorded somewhere and can be traced back to the source.
  5. If you think that participating in this behavior will keep you safe from being bullied or blacklisted then think again, sweetcheeks. You are who you surround yourself with.
  6. If you make “friends” with people who make it their business to hurt, dox, or defame others then you’ll soon be the subject of their behavior, too.
  7. If you’re one of those people that says shit like, “We’re the descendants of the witches you could not burn!” but is also participating in this modern witch hunt then look up the definition of “situational irony.”

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