Online words from the dark side

Leading online resource has announced the newest words to be added to its annuals and they reveal our fascination with the dark side of the internet.

Many of the additions reveal a growing apprehension around the ways the internet can be used to mislead, corrupt or inflict harm on unwitting users, writes Quartz.

Changes and additions to the digital dictionary are made through a multi-layered process that takes into account each new term’s newsworthiness, frequency of use, and related online searches, according to’s director of content Rebekah Otto.

The word “microagression,” for example, was flagged to lexicographers after the site noticed a surge in people unsuccessfully searching for its definition in 2014.

Along with microagression, other notable internet-centric additions and their definitions include:

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  • blackhat: a hacker who violates the security of a system for personal profit or for the gratification of causing damage.
  • cybercrime: criminal activity or a crime that involves the Internet, a computer system, or computer technology.
  • dark web: the portion of the Internet that is intentionally hidden from search engines, uses masked IP addresses, and is accessible only with a special web browser.
  • dox: to publish the private personal information of another person without their consent.
  • revenge porn: sexually suggestive images of someone, typically a former romantic partner, that are posted online without the person’s consent.
  • swat: (especially among online video gamers) to cause a SWAT team to be deployed on an unsuspecting victim by falsifying a threat, often as a punishment or retaliation.
  • hyperlocal: focused on a very small geographical community, as a neighborhood.
    lifehack: a tip, trick, or efficient method for doing or managing a day-to-day task or activity.

For more words recently added to, check out the website’s official announcement here.

What do you think of the new words that made the cut? Can you suggest any they may have missed out?