Media personality Somizi Mhlongo came under fire over the weekend when he decided to doxx two journalists after they each tried to solicit comment from the star regarding news articles they were working on.
“So @city_press has become a tabloid… ok… two can play the game… to stand a chance to win I don’t know what, dial the number and let Julia know what it feels like to have yo privacy invaded unprovoked,” posted Somizi in an Instagram caption of a screenshot of his text message history with journalist Julia Madibogo from City Press.
Madibogo contacted Mhlongo in an effort to gain clarity on ongoing rumours about his marriage to Mohale Motaung-Mhlongo.
In the screenshot, Madibogo’s cellphone number was clearly visible – an act that can be considered doxxing.
According to a blog entry by Heimdal Security, the term “doxxing” comes from the expression “dropping dox”, which was a revenge tactic used by hackers where they dropped malicious information on a rival.
Nowadays, doxxing is used to shame or punish people who would rather stay anonymous, because of their controversial beliefs or other types of non-mainstream activity.
It has also come to mean revealing an individual’s contact information along with an instruction for people on the internet to harass or target that person in an effort to teach then a lesson.
Mhlongo also did the same to another journalist – Kabelo Khumalo, from the Sunday World – who reached out to enquire about a tip-off that season two of Dinner at Somizi’s had been allegedly cancelled pending the outcome of an intellectual property claim filed against Somizi, Multichoice and the producers of the show by an individual named Hastings Moeng.
Mhlongo captioned his screenshot of Khumalo’s message: “I’m not the one to be bullied especially by the media… azishe… I’ll make you just as famous the blurred part is adult vulgar language.”
The “adult vulgar language” in question is Mhlongo’s response to the journalist in question.
According to a report filed by Sunday World, the message read; “Deadline yo msunu kanyoko, golo lika yihlo, u fucken abortion survivor.”
In addition to labelling the journalist an “abortion survivor, Mhlongo insulted both Khumalo’s parents by making reference to their genitals.
The star’s conduct has made him subject to much criticism from journalists and members of the public alike who believe he could have handled himself better.
Public sentiment holds that Mhlongo should understand public interest in matters such as is his marriage since he turned his nuptials into a ShowMax reality show and the fate of his reality show considering how many viewers it had amassed.
This is disgusting and getting out of hand. Yesterday he put a City Press journalists number on blast on Instagram encouraging his followers to harass her because she asked for comment on a story. He tells her to get her facts right when that’s exactly what she was doing
— Masa Kekana (@MasaKekana) January 18, 2021
I think you guys have been given a very long rope. And you’re hanging yourselves. Treat people how you’d like to be treated. Put yourselves in people’s shoes before you try destroy them
— #BamakoIsHere (@simphiwedana) January 18, 2021
Somizi and Mohale voluntarily rubbed their marriage/wedding on our faces, now that we are genuinely asking fair questions based on what we see they are fuming over nonsense!
Hayi mabayonya sana once and for all. Rhaa! We are phakathi inside their marriage now! No turning back.
— D I K O (@DikoSir) January 17, 2021
Mohale and Somizi urged us to watch their glorious wedding celebration on Showmax and to also comment on the trend here on Twitter, now that things are hard we must mind our business?? Njani? pic.twitter.com/BvDuPRSvEO
— SITHALE✍???? (@SithaleKgaogelo) January 17, 2021
Although a number of his fans (and famous friends) supported his actions and position, singer Simphiwe Dana took to Twitter to share her thoughts on the matter and defend Mhlongo’s actions.
“I don’t think Somizi is wrong. There are boundaries. Respect them. Us being public figures doesn’t create grounds for uba wena usiqhele [you to disrespect us]. Otherwise write your story ungasifaki [dont involve us],” she tweeted.
I don’t think Somizi is wrong. There are boundaries. Respect them. Us being public figures doesn’t create grounds for uba wena usiqhele. Otherwise write your story ungasifaki pic.twitter.com/x7SiYCsoDf
— #BamakoIsHere (@simphiwedana) January 18, 2021
Madibogo seemed to take Somizi’s attention in her stride, taking to Twitter after his instagram post to tweet:
“Bathong not Somizi giving me so many story tips and unprovoked business so early in the morningFace with tears of joy. His fans are my vibe though. Funny!” along with screenshots of her call log featuring a number of calls from unknown and unsaved numbers.