Judging from his internet footprint, Brutsch, 49, has a lot to sweat over. If you are capable of being offended, Brutsch has almost certainly done something that would offend you, then did his best to rub your face in it. His speciality is distributing images of scantily-clad underage girls, but as Violentacrez he also issued an unending fountain of racism, porn, gore, misogyny, incest, and exotic abominations yet unnamed, all on the sprawling online community Reddit. At the time I called Brutsch, his latest project was moderating a new section of Reddit where users posted covert photos they had taken of women in public, usually close-ups of their asses or breasts, for a voyeuristic sexual thrill. It was called “Creepshots.” Now Brutsch was the one feeling exposed and it didn’t suit him very well.
But Michael Brutsch is more than a monster. Online, Violentacrez has been one of Reddit’s most reviled characters but also one of its most beloved users. The self-described “creepy uncle of Reddit” has played a little-known but crucial role in Reddit’s development into the online juggernaut it is today. In real life, Brutsch is a military father and cat-lover. He lives with his wife in the Dallas suburb of Arlington, Texas. There are many sides to Violentacrez, and now that I had Michael Brutsch on the phone I hoped to find out where the troll ended and the real person began. (a lot more disgusting details here)
Reddit is a great community, but what worries me is the lack of self-policing that happens. I did not know about this until I saw it flash by over the weekend. If I did, I would have drawn some attention to it or the what not. However, I am amazed these communities exist. No, not the thoughts. The depths of the depravity of the human soul never amazes me. But the fact that some many were so open about their role in this community and about their proclivity to depravity is scary.
Technology is troublesome, but it can be curtailed. Amazon is a marketplace so we can boycot; Reddit, not so much.
So, what do we do?
We demand self-policing. I don’t really know what this would look like, however. Thoughts?
- Unmasking Reddit’s Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web (jdeanicite.typepad.com)
- Internet Privacy Does Not Exist (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Texas grandfather reportedly exposed as man behind Reddit’s ‘Creepshot’ forum (foxnews.com)
- Unmasking The Biggest Troll on Reddit (theatlanticwire.com)
- Gawker Outs Anonymous Reddit Contributor Over Sexually Suggestive Photos (pixiq.com)