I have to be honest I have never been a huge fan of Violentacrez but then again I don’t suppose he has ever been a huge fan of mine either….
Adrian Chen of Gawker has achieved the almost impossible, uprooting and exposing the repellant and obtuse deity otherwise known as Violentacrez of Reddit, who has over a period of time managed to become one of the social media outlet’s over reaching feudal lords (Mr Chen’s words not mine) who has in some ways affirmed the success of the Conde Nast vehicle but at the same time denigrated it with smut and his abhorrent support of it.
At the crux of the matter is the reddit community’s insistence that freedom of expression reign supreme (at it’s discretion of course) even if it means posting views, ideas and images that many would find reprehensible, invasive, inciting and denigrating to females and other individuals. And when we say females, we are talking about female minors who courtesy of Violentacrez, exposed as Michael Brutsch, a 49 year old Texas native who many would argue used the anonymous forum to live out a kind of
perverted fantasy that in essence objectified female minors, scandalized, sexualized them and whether he admits it or not put them in harm’s way with his constant hazardous depiction of them on one of the world’s most popular forums.
Responsible for moderating over 400 subreddits, including nsfw, funny and wtf (widely read subreddits) Violentacrez had until he chose to delist his account ahead of Mr Chen’s widely anticipated article outing him (but who knows what new account he is now using?) had been widely liked as well as disliked for what some argued has been his heavy handiness when it came to moderating these forums as well as lauded by some for spearheading contentious subreddits as well as advising other moderators. What’s interesting to note though is the degree of power and influence Mr Brutsch attained via reddit that the financial service employee failed to attain in real life.
Until he recently deleted his account Mr Brutsch had been responsible for introducing subreddit jailbait (which verged on child pornography) as well as affirming subreddit ‘creepshots’which soon opened (and thankfully was closed last week) after jailbait was forced to close late last year after it’s suspect portrayal of minors via sexually charged images that involved contributors posing images of said minors on the forum. A forum that Mr Brutsch unabashedly championed and soon became one of the chief proponents of as moderator, along with other eye popping and frankly other demeaning subreddits including:
chokeabitch, niggerjailbait, rapebait, Hitler, Jewmerica, misogyny, incest.
That said despite the suspect nature of Mr Brtusch’s existence on the reddit forum as the anonymous visage of violentacrez the reddit community weren’t too pleased with gawker’s plan to out him. In fact they have gone ahead and punished the media outlet by now unimanously voting to forbid the outlet’s links being posted in a whole array of subreddits as a kind of punishment for breaking its cardinal rule that no user can ever expose the identity of another user under any circumstance:
Via reddit’s hugely popular r/politics forum:
As some of you may know, a prominent member of Reddit’s community, Violentacrez, deleted his account recently. This was as a result of a ‘journalist’ seeking out his personal information and threatening to publish it, which would have a significant impact on his life. You can read more about it here
As moderators, we feel that this type of behavior is completely intolerable. We volunteer our time on Reddit to make it a better place for the users, and should not be harassed and threatened for that. We should all be afraid of the threat of having our personal information investigated and spread around the internet if someone disagrees with you. Reddit prides itself on having a subreddit for everything, and no matter how much anyone may disapprove of what another user subscribes to, that is never a reason to threaten them.
Heavy stuff indeed.
But perhaps the following reaction courtesy of venturebeat might sum up reddit’s decision to ban gawker:
Reddit moderators that banned Gawker don’t really want freedom of speech, but they do want the appearance of it. They are exactly what they hate: A bunch of authoritative sociopaths convinced that limiting a few awful voices is necessary for the greater good of the community.
Yet if one is to perhaps gain a deeper appreciation of what’s at stake perhaps the immediate passage below courtesy of nymag might go some way to explaining what’s at stake:
nymag: But as Reddit gains notoriety and even sometimes inexplicable prestige, it’s fascinating to watch the site’s users flex their muscle. In this case, they’re attempting to punish a media outlet — many of which are grateful for the site’s traffic-driving links — for bad press. Yet, at the same time, they are highlighting some of the ugliest parts of the community, sections that are downright revolting to more mainstream users. Reddit had 3.4 billion pageviews in August, thanks in part to an interview with Barack Obama himself. If the site wants to celebrate its status as the “front page of the Internet,” as its tagline brags, Reddit can’t be surprised when it’s no longer allowed to operate in the shadows.
That said I have also come across the following thoughtful comments across the web below that go a long way in reflecting on what we mean by the freedom of expression. Have a think and ask yourself was gawker right to expose Mr Brutsch and if so what does this suggest about the direction of media and free speech going forward? Shouldn’t one be accountable for the their choices and actions as opposed to hiding behind a cloak of anonymity? Especially when there are real world repercussions at stake?
Personally I think gawker did the right thing, as the media is almost always obligated to out bad behavior even if those exposed entities, individuals masks itself/themselves as the purveyors of freedom of expression….Good riddance to Mr Brutsch.
Via the web, other thoughts:
What Chen did was blackmail. He said we have this information on you. We will do A,B,and C unless you comply with our wishes. That is blackmail plain and simple. This wasn’t about journalism this was about silencing people Chen didn’t agree with. And at the risk of making this about free speech: I may not like what you have to say; but I’ll defend your right to say it.
Let’s be real here. Like all trolls, this is a story about privilege. It’s great for him to talk about niggers, to post pictures of sexualized preteen girls, to “incite reaction” from the crybabies, because he is a rich white man. He’s never had to deal with racism, sexism, being on the other end of hatred. If he had his face pounded into the cement by a gang of white thugs screaming “faggot” and “chink,” if hadn’t been able to leave the house without catcalls and the constant threat of sexual assault since he was 11, if his mother had been in a concentration camp, he wouldn’t think this was all such a joke. I’m not saying his life has been easy or good – people who have had good lives don’t start /r/picsofdeadjailbait – but he took all the power and privilege in the world and used to it hurt and attack and make the world a worse place. How about the teen girls who have killed themselves over jailbait pics? How about the legions of young men he’s shepherded into MRM and white-supremacist communities? Fuck him. No sympathy.
I am so sick of do gooders running around trying to find someone who is saying something offensive then outing him. Political Correctness is for communists and socialists to use to further their horrific goals. Free Speech is for free people to use to maintain their freedom. What this person did is offensive, but so what? I won’t read it, and I won’t join Reddit, but unless he’s breaking a law, whats the big deal? People need to press the limits of all rights so that we can push back against those who seek to take them from us. Say things that are offensive and politically incorrect. Say them loud and often, and when people complain, just remind them that no one has a gun to their head making them listen. But, also remind them that you are offended by their complaint, but you won’t demand that they shut up.
GE had a commercial that said “Freedom Is Everything”. Certainly, freedom is everything.
Don’t think yourself brave or clever or revolutionary or patriotic for saying offensive things for the point of being offensive. That’s not the purpose of freedom of speech. Yes, you can cling to its coattails and ride along, but always remember: you’re just some asshole tagging along. You’re like a child doing something just because he knows he can get away with it. You’re legalistic in the worst way.
your comment pretty much sums it up. you want to be a dick on the internet to achieve something that is lost inside of you that you can only get out by being a troll… then another web entity has the right right to out you even if it’s only to get page views.
@brown – I don’t know. The offense to me is that creeps are violating the privacy of hundreds of women and girls without their knowledge or consent and objectifying them online for other creeps. Now the creeps are screaming that personal details they’ve made available online are being gathered to out them for their behavior. Why should they be able to ignore the privacy of the women they objectify while protecting theirs, claiming ethical high ground? Seems incredibly hypocritical, no? I’m not saying fight fire with fire, or that I theoretically agree with this idea applied to all cases, but this seems ridiculous.
Anonymity allows us to cyberbully each other. It allows us to make statements that are offensive without fear of personal, physical, or social retaliation. It allows predators to assault our children and terrorists to conspire against us. It lets perverts–and admit it, you are one too–to watch their porn, not unlike booths in the red light district. It allows proprietors to post their unsavory wares without fear of retaliation.
The problem is, your anonymity only extends as far as your IP address. Once I have your IP address–and every site you post content to is likely to take that down as a security precaution–your anonymity is on shaky ground. Any investigator, for whatever reason, will be able within minutes to know who your ISP is, and with a bit of social engineering, they can have your name, address, and phone number without too much trouble. This is just to say that anonymity is a pipe dream, and those users on Reddit, bless their naive hearts, are living a fantasy if they think it is sacrosanct.
Get these repellent individuals out into the open. Screw their claim to liberty – its an abuse of the principle. It’s freedom without responsibility. It’s a version of ‘if you can’t do the time don’t do the crime’. Unfortunately it’s a form of liberal myopia to think that any reaction to the behaviour of emotionally retarded, depraved males (it’s generally males so just admit it) is a threat to core freedoms. That it is an authoritarian or totalitarian act. Well bollocks. They are despicably dangerous. To anyone who thinks otherwise, you’re in denial, wrong and you’re an apologist for misogyny. Besides, if its such a defendable freedom to behave so anti-socially and so depraved (the real meaning of the term not a sugary Cosmo sex tip)…,then they should be subject to the bright light of identification with the rest of us, and let them and you argue in public.
You forgot the best one–Picsofdeadjailbait, He also posted a description of having oral sex with his stepdaughter and let his actual identity be known to many people in the reddit community He’s been engaging in horrible behavior to draw attention to himself, but then wants to dictate the terms of that attention. Seriously, by what principle of ethics should he be able to do that?
I think someone needs to say as the article itself points out the people who do this on reddit are the tiny minority within the community. Most users are not misogynistic perverts. I have no qualms with naming and shaming those that give us a bad name.
I believe this backlash has occurred because of the problems reddit has had with Gawker in the past. They’re more than happy to portray all reddit users as basement dweller perverts.
Sure reddit has it’s trouble makers but the rest of society does as well. Don’t take this as a defense for those users in any way. I’d happily see these sub reddits deleted. I would also happily see the Sun get rid of page 3 and the while we’re at it have the Daily Mail print “The paper that support the Nazis” on every copy
The reason Reddit is against posting personal information – doxxing – is because it does limit free speech. If someone dislikes you enough, for any reason, on Reddit, they could potentially find out personal information about you, post it publicly, and get a mob to start harassing you. People would have to be very careful not to post anything that could possibly identify them or that might offend someone enough to try to post your information. For this reason Reddit has a blanket ban on doxxing, no matter the circumstances. To allow it in this case because of a particularly vile user sets a precedent that it’s fine to post people’s information if you don’t like something that they are doing, which would diminish freedom of speech on Reddit.
Furthermore, this protest is led by users – the owners of Reddit haven’t taken any action apart from banning direct links to personal information.