Disgraced Reddit mod Violentacrez on CNN

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145 Responses to “Disgraced Reddit mod Violentacrez on CNN”

  1. JeremyDavid says:

    Based on the Gawker piece alone, it seems he was behaving very troll-like in his intentional use of outrageous provocation to get outrageous responses.  Either that or he’s out of his mind.  

  2. Reid McCullough says:

    The Reddit thread discussing this story is awash with pedophile apologists and “free-speech advocates” (sticking up for the right to be creeps online). If I was critical of the SRS forums in the past, I owe them an apology.

    Edit: Link – http://www.reddit.com/r/news/comments/11pka1/violentacrez_on_cnn/

    • coderlion says:

      Everyone has a right to be a creep online.  But everyone also has to expect consequences for their creepiness.

      • I read a great comment on another site: “Women have no reasonable expectation of privacy in public? Fine. You have no reasonable expectation of anonymity on the internet. Fair.”

        • disillusion says:

          To be fair, no one has a reasonable expectation of privacy in public, otherwise it really would be illegal to tape police brutality via wiretap laws.

    • Sekino says:

      The people who say that Chen ‘ruined’ this guy’s life by breaking their little schoolyard rule and whatnot make me sick.

      If putting your own name next to your own actions has the potential of ruining your life, grab a freaking clue.

      • foobar says:

        And don’t be gay in Alabama (or the military until rather recently).

        • Sekino says:

          I wouldn’t say being gay is an ‘action’ as much as a state of being. You don’t choose who you love but you sure as hell choose to hork other people’s pics on internet for lulz.

          • foobar says:

            Ok, so “have buttsechs with other men”. Just because there are things you’d rather not have certain people know about you doesn’t mean they’re wrong. (Even though of course what this douche was doing very much was.)

        • wysinwyg says:

           Yeah, that moral equivalency is kind of sickening too. 

    • scatterfingers says:

      SRS is a cancer upon Reddit, just in a different way that creepshots and jailbait were a cancer upon Reddit.

      This isn’t a binary issue. Lots of people can be wrong.

      • Monkey_pants says:

        Can you explain why? It seems to be just a subreddit for people to call out racism and sexism on reddit. If you don’t like it, can’t you just ignore it? How is criticism the same as borderline pedo pics? 

        • scatterfingers says:

           Sure. It’s a subreddit chock full of vitriolic asshats who function as a downvote brigade, essentially silencing anyone that offends their sensibilities by downvoting them below threshold. This is bad for a bunch of reasons, especially if you’re trying to build a functioning community where people listen to and discuss even opinions that seem reprehensible to you and I. Also I’m not sure that SRS is entirely serious, they have a much more “SomethingAwful” vibe. Either way, they get “offended” really easy. So it becomes hard to ignore.

  3. corydodt says:

    A troll is someone who posts for the primary (although not necessarily the sole) purpose of drawing other people into making statements. Ideally they want these statements to make the responder look foolish or unhinged, but any bite’ll do.

    If this douche created his channels for the primary purpose of catering to an audience that would appreciate the material, then he is not (strictly speaking) a troll, even if a secondary purpose was to bait those outside the group.

    This is such a fine distinction that I have no problem calling him a troll anyway in casual conversation, since I can’t really know his intentions and it seems clear that baiting is part of the menu.

    • Henry Pootel says:

      A troll is someone who posts for the primary (although not necessarily the sole) purpose of drawing other people into making statements.

      That’s also the definition of a blogger, at least if comments are enabled.

    • Pecunium says:

       It appears, from various conversations on reddit, that he was doing lots of things, some of which were trolling; he apparently used sockpuppets, made subreddits just to get reactions, etc.

      So he was, it seems, engaging in some meta-trollery.

    • Mister44 says:

      re: “A troll is someone who posts for the primary (although not necessarily the sole) purpose of drawing other people into making statements.”

      I don’t think that is a fair statement. So your comment should be a statement that ends rather than encourage communication? Am I a troll because I just asked a question that begs a response?

      I think a more accurate definition would be “purpose of drawing other people into making – negative – statements.”

  4. MrJM says:

    Every troll is a douche, but every douche isn’t a troll.

    Violentetc is a douche.

  5. Rob Gehrke says:

    No. He’s a pervert with an internet connection – in that sense, not that terribly original.
    A troll in my opinion is somewhat of a performance artist and provocateur, who elicits responses from people s/he is unfamiliar with personally. It can be quite entertaining and thought provoking in come cases, though it can veer towards the abusive side when done by an insensitive jerk.

  6. Scott Frazer says:

    If calling him a troll makes you uncomfortable, I suggest the following adjectives instead:

    Creepy. Obnoxious. Odious. 

    Or my favorite:

    Unemployed.

    Remember kids, you have no guarantee to _anonymous_ free speech. You have no protection from legal backlash (such as being fired) that comes as a reaction to your speech. There are whistleblower exceptions, of course, but posting pictures of girls under 18 on the internet? Not a protected class, there.

    • mccrum says:

      [Slow clap recognizing greatness]
      Nice work summarizing it.  Speak all you want, but don’t be surprised when there are repercussions.

      • Theranthrope says:

        “Speak all you want [about the government/corporations/authority-in-general], but don’t be surprised when there are repercussions.” 

        Please reconsider your views toward speech.

    • Absolutely. If you’re looking for anonymity because you know you’re doing something people will hate you for, you have to stop and ask yourself a few tough questions about why that is.

      • Theranthrope says:

        Yes, because Free Speech is only for speech which dosen’t offend anyone… ever… and Anonymity is only for criminals and terrorists.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          That’s more of a tattoo than an argument.

        • Pecunium says:

           No.  But just as not all actions are free of repercussion, so too is not all speech. That someone chooses to engage in anonymous libel doesn’t make it not libel. 

          Brutsch hasn’t been charged with a criminal act.  That his employer is allowed to fire him for no reason at all isn’t an issue of “free speech”, that’s an issue of really bad employment law (which put almost all the power in the hands of the employer).

          I’m allowed to be an asshole.  The world is allowed to call me an asshole.  Hiding behind a nom-de-net changes this not at all.

  7. Violentacrez is a troll the way the Boy Scouts are too good for gays or the way Jimmy Savile was an eccentric philanthropist: it’s a performance that covers the creeping and adds a weird self-justifying element to it.

    • Theranthrope says:

      Just like:
      “That queer was just ASKING for it for being so… QUEER when we lynched him!”

      • Substance McGravitas says:

        Might wanna rethink that metaphor.

      • Pecunium says:

         Ok, I’ll bite… what behavior do you think merits social sanction when conducted “in the clear”?

        How does using a pseudonym change that?

        (I’m not going to directly address the hypberbolic comparison to lynching, save to point at my previous comment about his employment.  Brutsch hasn’t been lynched, nor beaten, nor in any way I can see harmed by any direct action of his detractors.  He’s been fired by his boss, because the law affords little, if any, protection from being fired).

  8. Teresa Nielsen Hayden says:

    We need a bigger vocabulary for online misbehavior. Brutsch isn’t a troll. Disgusting, yes, and a jerk, and he’s put a lot of work into being that way; but not a troll.

    • Gilbert Wham says:

      A Ghast, possibly? (one assumes everyone is in agreement that ‘Grue’ is too well-loved a concept to be associated with creepy dickheads like yer man there).

    • Philboyd Studge says:

      How about the Patton Oswalt term “Goblin”? It suggests a propensity to prey on others out of sheer stupidity and viciousness. The lifestyle embodies “you’re going to miss out on everything good, and die afraid and alone”.

      • strangefriend says:

         “Orc” is shorter.

        • Theranthrope says:

          “At the heart of racism is the idea that a man is not a man.”

          While being a troll isn’t a “race” per se (outside of MMOs), you are deliberately creating a category of an “other” for the purpose of hate, which amounts to the same thing.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            Whereas you have created a whole new race of men made of straw.

            And equating this with racism is, frankly, racist.

  9. Professor Knowbody says:

    I wonder if Oliver Stone will make a movie about him?

  10. tofagerl says:

    This is a lose-lose story with absolutely nothing to be gained for anyone by focusing more on it. This can only get worse.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      I wonder if the moms and dads of dead teen girls whose pics he posted as fap material agree with you. I imagine there are some who are very happy that Brutsch was outed, and that his story is being blast far and wide.

      • b b says:

        What if you were Amanda Todd’s father?
        1.)  Reddit doesn’t allow any child pornography, so her breasts would never be allowed there.
        2.)  Reddit doesn’t allow identifying information of the girls on their sites. (Oh yeah, and the entire jailbait forum was scrubbed a year ago!)
        If I were Amanda Todd’s father, I’d rather have had all her pictures be confined to Reddit.  It’s the lesser of two evils, sadly enough.
        R.I.P. Amanda Todd.
        You were too pure for this world!!!!!!!!

        • orangedesperado says:

          What if you were Amanda Todd’s mother ? WTF with the father angle ?

        • wysinwyg says:

          The harm isn’t in identifying the people being photographed.  The harm is normalizing surreptitious photography of adolescent girls.  It’s a support group for sexual predators where they can feel good about stalking and ogling jailbait.  The harm is reinforcing the kinds of mental processes that lead to shit like Todd’s harassment. Nice rationalizations, though.

          • Theranthrope says:

            This anti-logic of a war on “concepts” like “terrorism” or “drugs” are actually making the problem by CREATING an unregulated underground market for contraband. 

            The illegality CREATES demand, as there will always be  unscrupulous people out there to make money by filling that need. 

            Actually, I find it hard to rationalize that if a person takes a nude picture of a underage minor the/she would a greater sentence than if that he/she MURDERED said minor.

            Is the minor better served if the sentence is more severe for a photograph than a murder, just because YOU get offended?

          • wysinwyg says:

            You’re trolling, right?

          • disillusion says:

            @wysinwyg:disqus  Even if he was trolling, he does have a point about murderers getting less time than people charged with simple possession.

          • wysinwyg says:

            @boingboing-04babe9ebbc0f48f79abd7cb6191508e:disqus His point is actually about murderers getting less time than child pornographers, not “possession”.  That’s part of why I thought it was probably a troll. The comment really had nothing to do with mine, so no — no good points.

        • Pecunium says:

           I’m going to make a small distinction:

          Reddit doesn’t allow names to be attached.  Part of Brutsch’s job was to implement the protocols which existed to allow people to request their images be removed from r/creepshots.

          That means people were able to prove they were the subject of a post.  The high school teacher was caught because another teacher recognised the students.  It’s ridiculous to assert that this was the only case of a third party knowing who the subject of a creepshot was.

          As to r/jailbait, those were photos collected from elsewhere; with a modicum of work (tineye, google, etc.) tracking those, “anonymous” images back to their names could be done (and reddit only yanked that forum because the publicity from Anderson Cooper was more than they wanted.  They had been protecting it, under the rubric of free speech, against a lot of redditor protest).

      • Gideon Jones says:

        Indeed.  And although it’s maybe unlikely, I’d like to think this all might lead Reddit to get their shit together on a few things.

      • tofagerl says:

        So illegalize this behavior. Don’t just sit there and yell at this guy for doing something completely legal! 
        This guys is a hardcore douchebag of the kind that I wouldn’t allow into my house, but having mainstream websites and now CNN profile the guy as if he’s a mob boss is just SICK!
        Either his behaviour is bad enough that it should be illegal, or he’s allowed to do it. What the hell happened to “I disagree completely, but I will fight to the death to protect your right to post underage skeevy porn that the girls doesn’t even know about”?

        • Scott Frazer says:

          When did “I’ll fight for your right to post it” become “I’ll fight for your right to post it WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES?”

          Just because something is legal doesn’t make it necessarily moral. And it isn’t illegal to judge someone (or fire them) for being immoral.

          Why do we need a law for this? Good old fashioned tribal shaming seems to be working quite well in this case.

          • tofagerl says:

            Because it spirals without an end! Everyone loses, which was my original point!

          • Erik Denning says:

            So we can’t make moral judgements because we don’t all have the same criteria for what is immoral? Moral relativism is a copout.

          • Stephen Gordon says:

            I don’t think everyone means what you think it means.

          • wysinwyg says:

            Yeah, what would the statute even look like?  “Tribal shaming” is a little glib, though. I think of it more like the process by which parents (hopefully) socialize their children by teaching them they’re not supposed to steal, lie, or gratuitously hurt other people for their own amusement.

          • Christopher Wolfe says:

            Of course no one has any right to expect any of their actions not to expect consequences. That is just physics. But we, as individuals and a society, have control over what those consequences are. Therefore it is a discussion which must be had, one where the actual facts matter more than ideological soundbites.

            That is a nice platitude about morals and law and is of course true, but tropes don’t make an argument. The thing is that morals are personal opinions. Laws are, at least supposed to be, based on preventing actual damage to society.
            What I find so amusing about all this is that the people who are so morally outraged are spending so much time talking and thinking about it, in many cases I suspect because they are titillated by it. This really should be sparking more debate about whether or not anonymous free speech should be promoted, how we are going to deal with moral grey areas in a plural society. But in has instead turned into something akin to disdainful voyeurism. 

            Every discussion I have seen on this devolves into the same generic arguments and finally people selfrichously accusing each other of being racists or pedophile apologists.

          • wysinwyg says:

            What I find so amusing about all this is that the people who are so morally outraged are spending so much time talking and thinking about it, in many cases I suspect because they are titillated by it. 

            Please don’t pretend you can read minds.

        • Sekino says:

          Why spend a crapload of money to make being-an-asshole illegal if social groups are able to take care of such behaviour on their own (eventually)?

          Wait… Are you saying he is a *gasp* victim here? He seemed very amused when he had hordes of fans panting before him and his antics (many of them still are, apparently) but it’s not okay for him to hear from the hordes of people he humiliated or pissed off? 

          Since being a creep was such a large part of his life and spare time, the least he can do is own up to it. Lots of people do this sort of crap in the open (Howard Stern. Tosh.0, et al…) and at least they have the… let’s say straightforwardness to put their names right next to their shit. At least, when they defile someone else in public, there is fairness in that people know exactly who they are dealing with and know to whom they ought to respond.

          If you’re going to be a notorious asshole as a hobby (or profession, really), the least you can do is not cry like a baby- or let your little fans do it for you- if the tides suddenly turn on you. Fair game. Get a hobby/job you can handle, big guy.

          • tofagerl says:

            No one is a victim here… Well, the girls are. But he isn’t. And Gawker isn’t. And Xeni isn’t. They’re both pointing at this guy pretending he’s evil when they’re doing exactly the same thing – putting private information about an individual online for everyone to judge. And that’s why everyone loses.

          • Sekino says:

            Ah, so the girls ARE victimized, yet this is ‘legal’. So the only protection and fairness these girls can get (as far as at least knowing what the identity of the voyeur who grabbed their image) is in an ‘exchange of services’ : He took their image and involved them in his shit without consent, they get to know his name.

            Would you rather them NOT knowing what creep is stalking them online and distributing them to millions of people on a busy website? Because aside form him not doing this stuff in the first place, that’s the alternative.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            They’re both pointing at this guy pretending he’s evil when they’re doing exactly the same thing

            Nice false equivalency. The women whose pictures he put up didn’t do anything other than have the audacity to leave the house.

          • tofagerl says:

            I can’t reply to sekino, so I do it here: 

            See, now YOU are attacking ME. That’s my entire point, this is an article written to disgust, yet it has NO solution, only problems. 

            No, I don’t want them to know, I want the police to arrest him for using pictures of underage girls without their consent. That’s not a free speech issue, it’s a consent issue. The guy deserves jail. Not only him, everyone in that group.

            ————–

            Can’t reply to Antinous either, so it goes here:

            Fine, so let’s make an analogy. This douch here punches a girl under 18. Then Gawker punches him, then Xeni punches him, and then CNN punches him.
            THEN Reddit comes into it, and puches Gawker, Xeni and CNN. Then they start punching Reddit back.

            The girls aren’t in it anymore, you see? They’re forgotten, they’re left behind while everyone’s having a fun fight in the middle of the road and traffic stops. Just cause THERE IS NO SOLUTION! There’s just violence.

          • wysinwyg says:

            No one is attacking you.  There’s no violence involved.  Think about why reddit bans doxing — think about what’s actually harmful about it.  Reddit is actually kind of subtle about this.  It bans doxing not on the basis of illegality or demonstrable harm but on the basis of potential harm.

            If they took as nuanced a position on the potential harm of /r/creepshots as they do on the potential harm of doxing this shit wouldn’t have blown up in the first place.

          • Sekino says:

            (replying to your post further below, but Disqus is creating quite the clusterfuck here)

            Where did I attack YOU personally? I’ve asked you a question. That’s it (and in any other comment, I was using ‘you’ as a general pronoun. If that wasn’t clear, I assert it here).

            Your analogy of people punching each other is incorrect. He first posted pictures of girls AND adult women without their consent. Gawker and Xeni (and others) subsequently revealed and disseminated his identity. I don’t see any equivalency here.

            The women had absolutely no choice or knowledge into what they were being involved in. This guy knew exactly what he was doing and what the possible consequences could be (hence why he begged not to be outed). HE’s the one who had a choice to play the game and he decided to do so.

            If you absolutely want some ‘punching’ analogy, then he was the one punching a bunch of people while they were blindfolded in an alley. Being exposed was the best way to stop him, or give his victims a fighting chance.

          • Erik Denning says:

             He’s a major asshole and a putty head. Actions have consequences.

  11. tomslee says:

    “I don’t expect CNN’s producers to understand or care about the fine points of internet culture nomenclature.”

    This kind of episode emphasizes that the idea of “internet culture” has had its time. There is no longer any such thing.

  12. Marko Raos says:

    I demand a “proper”, inambivalent honest definition of an “internet troll!”

  13. Henry Baum says:

    It doesn’t matter if he’s considered a troll or not. At all.

  14. At long last anthropologists have found a troll. It wasn’t an easy find mind you. Hitherto the scientific community saw trolls as primarily fit for the idle  speculation of amateurs on cryptozoology.

    Not anymore, the troll has been photographed, documented, blood samples where taken, its habitat explored and at least a dozen researchers are now busily scribbling on their PhD theses.

    We’re assured that the troll will be released back into its natural habitat in due time. There is even talk about establishing troll preserves where these elusive creatures can congregate in peace. Due to excessive industry and public scrutiny their habitat have been vanishing with devastating effects on the troll diversity and overall health.

    Today is a day for change, for trolls have finally be formally recognized and I’d like to thank the brave researchers of the Gawker Institute for applied anthropology and the CNN institute for investigative examination for their groundbreaking work.

    For science!

  15. angusm says:

    Could his fifteen minutes of fame be over already, please?

  16. niktemadur says:

    Who trolls the trolls?  Moderators!
    Tip o’ the cap to Antinous.

  17. mathew says:

    He can be a degenerate *and* a troll, can’t he? I don’t think it’s an either/or thing.

  18. Romana Clef says:

    Glad to see this guy suffer some consequences for his disgusting actions.

    Sidenote, how much does he look like that ruined Spanish Jesus fresco in the freezeframe image?

  19. plyx says:

    I thought weev was incarcerated. I guess that’s what I get for thinking.

  20. thecommongood says:

    What’s wrong with being a troll?  Who cares? 

    The important issue is one of free speech.  Personally, I think the internet should be wide open. 

    • Scott Frazer says:

      There are no government entities involved in this, therefor it is NOT a free speech issue. If this douche wanted to set up his own hosting site to push his crap around, he’s welcome to. Reddit isn’t obligated to give him a platform to do so,

    • orangedesperado says:

      How about the great outdoors — like when the underage girls stepped out of their parent’s homes and walked down a street, went to mall or school and had their photos posted in a context where they were sexualized and creeped about — completely without their knowledge or consent — don’t you think that say, the WHOLE WORLD should be open for people(as in girls and women — not just just you straight able bodied dudes) to move about freely without this sort of deliberate (not accidental, not mistaken) predatory behavior ? I’m sure your big wide world of free and open internet will lay some unsophisticated logic on us to explain this matter.

      • regeya says:

        Having looked at /r/jailbait a couple of times when they still had it, oh, ffs.  The young women in these pictures tended to be doing the bathroom mirror shots, or their best impersonation of a pinup pose.  If anything, I wish it was still around, that way in a few years I could just pull it up, bring my daughters in front of the computers, and simply say, “don’t send these kinds of pictures to anyone.”

        Most the other subreddits he moderates, though…ugh.

        • orangedesperado says:

          The context of these photos is very important. A 13 year old trying out some sexy photo poses in front of her mirror, that she sends to her equally 13 year old best friend (female) so they can be mutually scandalized and giggle is one thing. This photo becomes a completely different monster in a group of 35 year old men in a group devoted to collecting and sharing photos of “Jailbait”, who are very specifically objectifying and sexualizing the subject of the photo.

          One time I worked at a stupid card shop. A female shopper came up to the counter and was so angry that she was shaking as she threw a stack of postcards on the counter.The cards had two naked toddlers on a beach, photographed from behind, with sand stuck to their bums. She felt the store shouldn’t sell them, that it was child pornography. I spoke to the (female) manager who dismissed this concern, said the cards were “cute” and put the cards back out for sale. 90% of the shoppers at the store were “normal” mall shopping type women, who also bought things like scented candles with flowers and crap stuck on them. Did I feel ambivalent or concerned about selling them this card ? No. Would I feel the same way selling this card to an adult man, who made suggestive comments about the photos ? Yes, absolutely.

          • Guest says:

            With respect, your argument could be used to try to ban gays and lesbians from their respective restrooms or from military service. And has been.

            Your thinking is colored by your disgust. Understandable, but not correct, especially inasmuch as Brutsch was tried and publicly “executed” by Chen for crimes he himself did not actually personally commit, but rather, was merely the public face of. So far as I know, Brutsch did not, himself, publish unambiguously criminal material, though there were instances where such material was published, and was deleted. IE, system worked as designed.

            And in point of fact, Reddit *did* ban the jailbait subreddit. Three months ago. Where’s the story, except that Adrian Chen wanted there to be a story?

            It’s a terrible shame that we cannot separate the issues this raises from the events leading to it. This whole matter is going to raise A LOT of issues for webmasters and the general public pertaining to “the right to be left alone”, as worded by Justice Brandeis, the boundaries of media ethics and relevance, as well as sensible policies for webmasters: moving forward, I’m personally banning all participation by minors, and possibly all material pertaining to minors, from websites I’m planning to create. If a failure to judge where “the line” is, as judged by momentary public passions, can result in my complete public destruction, harrassment, and even death threats, I’m not seeing where it’s worth it, whether it’s participation by minors in adult discussions (a right we enjoyed, coming up with the net) or a parent posting a video of their child’s athletic achievements.

            After all, somebody might be having evil thoughts about that video, or try to communicate via PM with that minor child. And that’s a big-ass mountain of liability, right there, based on the arguments people are now making about where these boundaries should be, based on their momentary passions about this singular case.

            Oh: And how do we ban involvement by minors or posting of content thereof? That’s right: either A.) we require “real life” credentials like Facebook, with all the privacy issues pertaining thereto, or B.) we require disclosure of personally identifying information to a much greater extent than we do now, such as credit card or drivers’ license numbers just to participate which only serves to increase the likelihood of unwanted/unauthorized disclosure, stalkerish behavior, and real-life confrontations based on internet postings.)

          • orangedesperado says:

            I am not connecting your dots here, some_internet_person. 

            Chen did not try or execute Brutsch — he reported a story that was obviously corroborated by Brutsch’s active involvement in forums with content that became objectionable due to the context(ie comments of adult members towards the subjects of the photos). The extent of this “trial” was revealing Brutsch’s real name. Perhaps Brutsch should be prosecuted for theft of intellectual property (ie photographs) or copyright violation, or the violation of the rights of privacy of underage girls, or criminal harassment of underage girls. There are extremely complicated issues here with regards to privacy, predatory behavior and intellectual property. It seems Brutsch’s identity was well known within Reddit, so this doesn’t seem like a super secret that needed months of sleuthing to uncover.

            Objectification of a non-consenting underage person, via  a swiped photo, secret snapshot etc., in a context of intense sexualization by adults of a really hostile nature in a more of less public space (Reddit) is not the same as the fucked up homophobic fantasies of the military. The military has also had some astounding attitudes about women as inferiors, and racism, and a host of human rights violations of whoever the enemy du jour is.

            People’s FANTASIES cannot be controlled — if a perve wants to get off to Sears catalog images, or whatever — no one can stop him/her from doing this.The problem begins when the fantasy exits the person’s head and these images are shared in a public place, like the internet, in a context that encourages hostile and violent commentary/attitudes with active discussion that is encouraged by other members. 

    • Substance McGravitas says:

       Okay, so he posted what he wanted and Adrian Chen posted what he wanted.

      • Guest says:

        And Chen’s outlet is pretty far in excess of what Brutsch alone can bring to his own defense in the aftermath. Chen distorted things pretty heavily, and then made Brutsch singularly accountable for things other people were doing.

        If you can separate Brutsch’s terrible nature from your analysis of this, and not see the danger of what Chen’s been permitted to do without any real scrutiny due to the “scarlet letter” nature of it, I can’t help you.

        I just fear “Adrian Chen Journalism” is the new normal, and that we’re all now prone to being pulled into the spotlight for crimes real or imagined, or failures with regards to orthodoxy or conformity, at any moment any random “journalist” gets a bug up their ass and needs a new “face” for it.

        Consider: let’s say I post to a womens’ rights forum asking about abortion services and access thereto, and I happen to slip up and say/do something identifiable. Fundamentalist Christians show up at my curb the next day raising hell, harassing my family and my employer, and on down the line.

        (Or hell, in this Brave New World where anonymity = evil, maybe I had to post under my name to begin with, and all the evil Fundie had to do was read.)

        Or a liberal becomes subject to the Breitbart treatment by local partisans for excoriating the GOP candidate on Democratic Underground. His personal life becomes the topic of blogs and public attention.

        Still not seeing a problem? After all, we’re all just talking about consequences to words, and people’s reactions to them. Who watches the watchers and judges the judgers? Isn’t that what we create a government to do?

        Think maybe perhaps we should condemn the Adrian Chens just as much as the Fundies and the hyper-partisans? And should be as wary of them as we are of the Brutsches?

        Think maybe perhaps we should let crimes be judged in –this is a crazy notion– Courts of Law? And perhaps we should not unduly single out people who have no wide societal relevance for the perceived slights of groups, illegal or merely distasteful or unpopular, that they might belong to? (The Hollywood Blacklists come to mind here.)

        • Substance McGravitas says:

          Gee, you’re concerned someone could be victimized, huh?  Imagine.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          Or a liberal becomes subject to the Breitbart treatment by local partisans for excoriating the GOP candidate on Democratic Underground. His personal life becomes the topic of blogs and public attention.

          Already happening. Why should we walk around with our hands tied to our belts while we’re getting the shit beaten out of us?

        • wysinwyg says:

          Do you have any arguments besides hypotheticals and straw men?

  21. Brent Kirkham says:

    I really don’t care if the guy is ‘considered’ a troll or not. To me it’s semantics; troll or douche.  My quibble here is free speech.  It doesn’t exist.  Many sites are based in the US and are US centric, and that’s fine.  But Americans have a knee-jerk reaction to anyone being castigated regarding what they say or print, regardless of wherever they post, speak or live.  The world isn’t like that.  You have a right, and let me add that it’s an amendment to your constitution, not part of the original document.  

    Here in the UK, there is no appeal to freedom of speech, in some countries in Europe you just go to jail fr talking sh*t.  We have laws here against ‘Hate Speech’, so your Westboro Baptists would have been in jail years ago if it was down to us.  But because you have the 1st amendment, you also have the problems that come with it.  What really IS unacceptable speech?

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence the 2nd amendment came right after the 1st, and I don’t mean numerically.

    • Substance McGravitas says:

       It followed the constitution’s adoption an eon later it’s true.  Four years.

    • Guest says:

      You’re confusing the usage of “amendment” in this context. They were “amendments” largely because the “articles” detail the form and function of the government. Therefore, the Amendments then place explicit limits and controls on that government, it having been duly defined by those articles.

      The Articles are very specific in their wording, while the Amendments, especially the first ten, are left relatively open-ended. This is not an accident, two hundred years of legal debates along strict/liberal constructionist lines notwithstanding.

      It’s not like the Bill of Rights was an afterthought. The abuses by the British governors and Parliament, those of the British Army generals in the early stages of the not-yet-a-revolution, and the natural evolution in human rights presaged, but not fully enshrined by the Magna Carta were all very much on their minds.

      The Founders were just defining the variables, constants, and constraints of “the program” in their proper order.

  22. James D. Hendrickson says:

    I hated this guy before it was cool, but I do have a question for all of you patting yourselves on the back so hard (careful not to break your arm). In following up on this we find out his wife is disabled and his income is what was taking care of her. Did she deserve to be made destitute for his perfidious behavior?

    I guess I have a hard time taking this seriously; this guy is the least of the problems on reddit. He just made people angry, there are pedophile rings using the site to organize and you see their sock puppets up voting pro pedo nonsense in threads all the time. He was just the nail sticking up. Where is gawker and chen when it comes to lolita city the pedo site only approachable via tor which has an entrance fee of new material no one has ever seen before, (which means usually done to your own children).

    I used to try to root these people out they infested our news groups and hacked other peoples servers to use them a proxies to trade this filth. I can tell you I’ve seen things that made me weep and hug my kids closer at night and this asshole wasn’t a patch on these people. Why did he get this full force moral crusade?

    It takes five minutes of research to start finding out about the things I just mentioned, but Violent Acrez warrants all this…? He is a douche bag and the things he did were gross but they weren’t criminal. All this moral outrage and smugness I wish it could have been directed at the real problem. When that stuff is gone then sure swing back around for this creeper.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Did she deserve to be made destitute for his perfidious behavior?

      Why should we care about what happens to the bully’s family when the bully never cared about the families of his victims? Why are the rules for victims always tougher than the rules for bullies?

      • yosemite says:

        Uh, because we’re not bullies, nor is the bully’s family. There’s this wacky ability that most humans have to care about more than one person at a time–incredible, isn’t it?

      • Steve Taylor says:

        We should care what happens to the bully’s family because theoretically at least we’re good people. He doesn’t care for the families of his victims because he’s a prize grade asshole.

        I’m actually all for outing him, but I think what you just said doesn’t make sense.

      • regeya says:

        I know I’ll get banned again, but…that’s sick.  What kind of sick fukc says shiz like that?

        You don’t care what happens to his family, because he didn’t care about his victims’ families.  Really?

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          Yes. Really. There’s a world full of people with problems, most of them worse than his and his family’s. If I give a shit about a different person every second for the rest of my life, I’m never going to get so far down the list that I give a shit about someone who’s been sitting next to her husband for the last number of years while he harasses people online and abuses his stepdaughter.

          Why, out of all the people in the world, do you choose to defend this asshole’s support network? Find a real charity to work for if you care that much.

        • llazy8 says:

          You sound concerned, Shane.  Can I assume you’ve already sent a donation to her or swung by with a bucket of fried chicken to make sure she’s well-fed?

      • orangedesperado says:

        Did he care about his own family when his online behavior escalated to horrible depths ? Did he consider the possibility of fallout that would be well, pretty much what has happened ?

      • Guest says:

        False equivalency, that first predicates itself on defining pictures as criminal based on the thoughts of the viewer. A dangerous and corrosive proposition, one I’m surprised to see a BB moderator defending. 

        But even after that, there’s a problem of scope and scale in the response, and of that punishment fitting the crime, given that vastly disproportionate scope/scale.

        This –and other events on less ambiguous moral ground that are sure to follow this precedent– are the things we need to concern ourselves with, cats already being out of their bags.

        Also worth considering: look at the political divisiveness these days. Each side thinks itself a victim, and looks at the other side as bullies. Which side is right? And what are they justified to do?

        This is why we have Rule of Law. And Adrian Chen and an internet mob just shit all over it.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          This is why we have Rule of Law. And Adrian Chen and an internet mob just shit all over it.

          If you’re going to invoke the rule of law, which does not have anything to do with this case, then I’m going to assume that you want to have the government take over the internet and provide all moderation services.

    • wysinwyg says:

       By this logic, we shouldn’t do anything about the child pornographers until we do something about global hunger.  But wait!  Global warming could be an even bigger problem than global hunger!  But not everyone believes in it.  Hmm, prioritizing problems is hard.  Maybe your idea of only dealing with the worst problem until it’s solved and then moving on to the next isn’t going to work so well.

      You want to talk about self-righteous back-patting behavior?  Dragging your valiant crusade against child pornography into this thread would seem to fit the bill to me.

    • Gilbert Wham says:

       In the original article, it states that his wife used to sit quite happily by him in bed whilst he posted to these groups on Reddit. Ergo, she knew what he was doing. And is, presumably, capable, if she so wished, of castigating him for said perfidious behaviour. As for paedophiles posting to illegal sites, and taking over networks in order to trade illegal images, does it not go without saying that any right-minded soul disagrees vehemently and completely with their actions? Although I’d argue that law-enforcement ought to deal with them, not BoingBoing and Gawker…

    • orangedesperado says:

      What do you think this guy is like with his own family ? What about the time he allegedly got his 19 year old stepdaughter to suck his dick WHICH HE TOLD THE WHOLE INTERNET ABOUT ? Do you think this guy does his fair share of the chores around the house ? Do you think he is patient and kind regarding his wife’s disability ? Do you think they have a balanced and loving relationship which includes mutual respect and kindness ?

      I am not in their relationship, so I can’t tell you — but I will say that where is smoke there is usually fire. And this crud’s actions hardly suggest a respectful, loving and supportive partner.

      I wish his wife and family the best in this tornado shitstorm that has been brought upon them by their husband and father. I hope that the wife can find a safe place where she is loved and supported, so she will not have to turn a blind eye to the repellant, unethical and horrendous things her husband does anymore.

      • regeya says:

        “Do you think he is patient and kind regarding his wife’s disability ?”

        Does that mean she has to be dragged through the mud?

        • orangedesperado says:

          Completely the opposite, Shane. His wife is not on CNN defending her husband or his actions. She is in this situation because of his actions. It gets more complicated because it seems that she was aware of his behavior/content on Reddit.

          This raises plenty of questions. Was she okay with what he was posting/doing ? Was she not okay with this but did not know what to do ? Since she is disabled, does that mean that she is completely dependent on him to financially support her? Is her disability such that her mobility and access is limited? If this is the case, how easy would it be for her to leave a marriage where appalling things are happening ?

          Sadly, there are also marriages/relationships where really terrible things are happening within a household, like incest, and the mother does not want to believe what her child or children are telling her, and sides with the abuser.

          So who knows what the story is with his wife, or what she feels about any of this ? It is not her fault that her husband is an asshole, but that is as much as I know about the situation.

    • grimc says:

      His wife knew what he was doing. Adjust your sympathy accordingly.

      His current wife is similarly accepting of Brutsch’s unsavory side, according to Brutsch. She is not only aware of his online habits, she’s also a prolific Redditor under the handle not_so_violentacrez. She is a founder of the Fibromyalgia subreddit. She has diabetes and plays the online game Kingdom of Camelot. Violentacrez said that at home, the two would lie in bed together with their laptops, both on Reddit, him posting his porn, she posting cute animal videos and pictures of dolphins.

    • llazy8 says:

      I imagine that if you have direct access to stuff that makes you weep, plenty of news agencies would pay top dollar to report on it.  Bet you there are politicians who would sell their souls to be photographed next to the makers/distributors of said materials in handcuffs. 

      So tell me again how it’s these people here who are preventing you from saving the world? By demonstrating in advance how much they would support you for outing a *rilly* bad dude?

    • Guest says:

      1000X this. As somebody else who has taken calculated, but still risky actions to shut down REAL kiddie porn outlets, seeing Chen get deemed a hero and a real journalist by plucking the low-hanging fruit that was Brutsch –and get a free pass on some dangerous, shitty journalism and frightening precedents in the process– disgusts me far more than what Brutsch has done.

  23. wormhog says:

    I cannot respond to anything here without assuming I’ve been subtle-trolled. Agree with Xeni on the semantics.

  24. social_maladroit says:

    As Xeni implies, a troll is someone who mainly posts in order to elicit an emotional response from others for the fun of it — usually by trying to make them upset. In other words, a troll is someone who posts in order to push other peoples’ buttons, in order to get them to respond. The troll gets off by reading the responses.

    Insofar as violentacrez was mainly posting for an audience of people who enjoyed and participated in what he posted, he wasn’t a troll.

    Adrian Chen’s no hero. Chen just does what he does in order to make a buck and to get page hits for his employer. Playing the outrage card’s always a winner. (For example, search Gawker for Chen’s posts on the Silk Road.)

  25. Marc Mielke says:

    First they came for the creeps and douchebags….and yeah, I’m totally fine with it. I can wait for someone I don’t feel I need a shower after just reading about to defend free speech. Larry Flynt, maybe. He seems like an okay guy. 

    • Substance McGravitas says:

       First they came for the heretic mummies, and I did not speak out because I was not a heretic mummy;
      Then they came for the elder sea hags, and I did not speak out because I was not an elder sea hag;
      Then they came for the lesser lycanthropes, and I did not speak out because I was not a lesser lycanthrope;
      Then they came for the conjurer puppets, and I did not speak out because I was not a conjurer puppet;
      Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me.

  26. rtresco says:

    Although trollish behavior on the whole is offensive, in some venues I’ve seen it used academically, to force POV consideration with extreme examples. That said, the Brutsch form of troll as a sub-category needs a name and I propose Trog, short for troglodyte. Trolls frequent bridges, which are too lofty a view for that cave dweller. But now I’ve offended troglodytes.

  27. yosemite says:

    I’m so glad that this disgusting creep was outed. Before he came along, men never leered at fully clothed girls, and I was terrified that it would become a worldwide epidemic. Especially now that capturing and disseminating visual images of all things visible is a trivial act, thanks to the evil Internet. But thankfully, once we are walking around with our iEyes (Apple’s new electronic glasswear that is an iPod, a phone, an internet mobile device, fashionable eyewear, and visual lifestream recorder), we will already have a “tribal shameware” platform automatically installed. So when creepy Uncle Chester glances at the 16-year-old wearing shorts walking by his shopping cart, and automatically sends his *LIKE* (activated by Google’s algorithm recognition of Uncle Chester’s ‘favorites’) out into cyberspace, he will be instantly shamed by the global tribal TED talk BoingBoing village and voted down in a hailstorm of ‘dislikes’ and other spiky sharp character strings.

    More likely, though, images of the human body will eventually be so ubiquitous and commonplace (thanks to the Myspace and Facebook narcissism stage of 2000-2015, where everyone’s photo is everywhere, duckfaces galore), that…*GULP*… no one will care…!! Just another “tribal” relic, I s’pose.

  28. Sofia Ortiz says:

    I would like to direct all defensive-of-the-(meta?)troll thoughts to this gem: http://genderbitch.wordpress.com/2010/01/23/intent-its-fucking-magic/
    And that is all I have to say about that.

  29. BrendanBabbage says:

    I’m all for the right to be a creep online.

    We have our free speech hanging by a fraying thread.

    Protecting disgusting, racist, sexist, whatever… speech is a good barrier for true speech of expression, protest, challenging norms and deep thought.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Of course you support it; it doesn’t affect you.

    • atimoshenko says:

      By the same reasoning, protecting the freedom to dox disgusting, racist, sexist, whatever… creeps is a similarly good barrier.

      To me, the problem with creepshots, jailbait, etc. was not that the content was offensive (different parties find different things offensive, so offence is a poor standard), but that it consciously collected and shared information that its targets clearly did not intend to be collected and shared. This makes the participants fair game for the same activity.

  30. BarBarSeven says:

    I am so happy this guy has been found so we can finally end hate on the Internet.

  31. Dean Putney says:

    LOOKING FOR WORK: Experienced, well-known and motivated community moderator. Famous for building hundreds of niche and several large communities. Not afraid to get hands dirty. Compensation negotiable.

  32. orangedesperado says:

    Some_Internet_Person: you seem to believe in things like elected government (as though the process of entering politics is open to anyone — have you taken a good look at who your elected officials are ? Do you see much diversity of race, gender, class, personal wealth, education there ?) and law enforcement and law. You want to believe in these things, I suspect, because you are male, and probably white and will have a completely different experience as a non white and/or female. As much as we (as a society) like to believe that a Court of Law is about justice and ethics, it is really about lawyers talking to other lawyers, essentially treating the case like an elaborate game of chess that is dependent on the depth of the pockets of whoever is paying for the lawyers, as well as the burden of proof, which boils down to concrete evidence. Plus the jury, Plus the judge. Hey, remember that judge that was on the Smoking Gun who was finally busted for masturbating under his desk WHILE COURT WAS IN SESSION ? Several women, like lawyers and court transcriptionists, had complained about his behavior and what they had seen over several months, but it wasn’t until the cleaning staff dug up some DNA that the complaints were finally taken seriously. How fair or balanced do you suppose his judgements were, since as a judge he was not able to act like a rational human being in his own courtroom ?

    Go ahead, dig up the dirt on Adrian Chen and scrutinize him. Scrutinize the other people who have spoken up against particular forums and trolls who are aggressive, and malicious, and hateful, who are essentially being bullies towards strangers who are basically still children. I would object just as much if Jailbait was about underage boys, or if any of his other forums targeted boys. Its not like the dudes in these forums were just posting images of themselves, and getting creeped on by the other dudes there. That would be like, fair game or something.

    Freedom of speech does not extend to harassment, threats, intimidation, coercion and conspiracy to commit violence. Can you imagine for a second what the family of one of the dead teenage girls would feel, discovering their daughter’s or sister’s photo in that forum, with all the disgusting comments ? What if that was your daughter or sister ? Could you see the harm, then ?

  33. aaronmhill says:

    I think it was in the Gawker article, but it may have been elsewhere (recently) — didn’t ViolentAcrez create a shit-ton of subreddits purely for the lulz and to piss people off? (like, I think he created “/r/hitler/” didn’t he? And a few others like that) — that’s TOTALLY trollish behavior.

    The creepshots shit…that might be for boners, I don’t know. 

    But he definitely has exhibited troll-behavior in these contexts before.

  34. Brutsch would have you believe that the forums he moderated and stuff he posted was just him exercising his free speech to the extreme. If that were the case lets just stop right here. Think about it, before he even signed up for Reddit, the

    FIRST thing he had to think about why he would be using a pseudonym as opposed to his real name and his answer was probably that it was for personal protection and self expression. Then the

    SECOND thing he does is post offensive stuff and create an offensive forum; well offensive to some anyway. Then the

    THIRD thing he does is get outed by the Super Badass Troll Adrian, then he goes on Anderson Creepy Cooper and whines about being “allowed” a pseudonym and freedom and if he hadn’t been “allowed” he wouldn’t of “run wild”. He sickens me entirely. He violated the FIRST action he did above, about using a pseudonym for personal protection and self expression by copping out and saying he did what he did because HE WAS ALLOWED to do it! He doesn’t care about personal protection or self expression and probably doesn’t realize that honor and honesty come with deserving both of these things. He is a creep who got caught and then blamed it on the “man” for letting him do it! If he had manned up he would of said that he thought that what he did was just fine, that he was being himself, that what he posted was him being free, and that he used a pseudonym for personal protection and self expression and that Adrian violated that trust. DON’T APOLOGIZE FOR ANYTHING. Then say that if he did anything illegal then the authorities should arrest him. Otherwise, shut up and leave him alone. No, not that, but instead blaming his “freedom”, it’s all so pathetic.

  35. he’s a troll in the sense of a patent troll, or a domain squatter (URL troll). he picked up modship of new reddits in bulk and produced mass-generated content for them. he then censored those reddits (esp. in the case of jailbat) to remove the illegal content that people otherwise would imagine those subreddits were created for. this is similar to the way a patent troll buys up or generates patents with only a goal of enforcing it such that noone can make or use the product without his say-so.

  36. Funk Daddy says:

    He’s saying it hard but what I read of his response to Hendrickson’s concern, phrased as “did she deserve”, is twofold:

    1. If these considerations are applied there is a chance that there can be no justice if the violator has dependents or as someone who intends to violate would say, defences.

    2. “did she deserve” is a consideration, but not much of a reason. Let’s not take the blame on ourselves for something that is squarely the fault of the violator. If I did something that legitimately cost me my job and it hurt my family, I did that.

    Legitimately, whether because the employment laws in Tx suck, (they do) or because you can totally be fired for moderating reddit all day instead of working.

    So make the consideration, while doing so do not forget that the harm you don’t want to see was brought down by the offender and not societies response, and then recall that the US isn’t 100% fucked yet, she still has a tattered safety net if she needs it.

    And remember, he can still pump gas, go without any luxury himself (like internet) and still provide for his family.

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