We wouldn’t blame you if you haven’t been paying attention (there have been too many other important things to focus on this week, like this), but there’s an Internet storm a-brewing, and it’s getting ugly. On one side, there’s Gawker, your snarky source for all things gossip and Goatse. On the other, there’s Reddit. The two websites have never been big fans of one another, but things are particularly heated now, ever since Gawker writer Adrian Chen unmasked the “biggest troll on the web”: “Violentacrez,” less known as Michael Brutsch, best known as the guy behind “jailbait,” “beatingwomen,” and “creepshots,” which are exactly as disgusting as they sound.
Here’s what you should know, beginning with the Meet Joe Black sequel no one wanted, Meet Michael Brutsch.
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.” (Via)
For those of you who don’t know what “Creepshots” is, it has nothing to do with Radiohead. Shame. OK, imagine walking down the street and you see an attractive, unsuspecting woman wearing tight yoga pants. She probably wouldn’t mind if someone she’s never met takes a picture of her, right? I mean, thousands of Internet perverts are only going to creepily masturbate to her. She should be flattered. Plus, it’s that skank’s fault that she’s wearing something so enticing. Such is the mindset of “Creepshots” and “Jailbait” and the people who visit(ed — it’s since been banned) it. YOUR MOM COULD BE ON IT AND SHE’D NEVER EVEN KNOW. Chen writes:
Violentacrez and his fellow moderators worked hard to make sure every girl on jailbait was underage, diligently deleting any photos whose subjects seemed older than 16 or 17. Violentacrez himself posted hundreds of photos. Jailbait became one of Reddit’s most popular subreddits, generating millions of pageviews a month. “Jailbait” was for a time the second biggest search term bringing traffic to Reddit, after “Reddit.” Eventually, Jailbait landed on CNN, where Anderson Cooper called out Reddit for hosting it, and Violentacrez for creating it. The ensuing outcry led Reddit administrators to reluctantly ban Jailbait, and all sexually suggestive content featuring minors.
On the phone, Michael Brutsch insisted he is not a pedophile but was unapologetic about Jailbait. He compared the photos of underage girls he posted to Britney Spears’ sultry “Hit Me Baby One More Time” video. She was 16 at the time, he said—how was that different than what he was doing? Brutsch said he only reposted photos that he’d found elsewhere, mostly on 4chan, and that he promptly removed any outright child porn that was posted. (Via)
He looks exactly what you’d expect him to look like:
Like Fat Tommy Carcetti, in other words. Brutsch’s other subreddit work includes “N*ggerjailbait,” “Hitler,” and, predictably, “Jewmerica.” Redditors didn’t take too kindly to Chen’s expose, though, and even before the article was published last night, select moderators banned any and all Gawker articles from appearing on Reddit, a pageview goldmine of a website. This comes from /politics a few days ago:
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.
As a result, the moderators of /r/politics have chosen to disallow links from the Gawker network until action is taken to correct this serious lack of ethics and integrity. (Via)
As if things weren’t already confusing enough, Jezebel (part of the Gawker Media online empire) published a much-read post about the Tumblr blog Predditors, “a collection of incriminating personal information — photos, social media accounts, screencaps of CreepShots posts — that [25-year-old founder ‘Samantha’] plans on using to ‘out’ Redditors whom she considers sexual predators.” Example:
PHEW. Got all that? Basically what this comes down is: Brutsch doesn’t think he’s doing anything wrong because FREE SPEECH and the fact that he’s technically never published underage pornography, and Gawker’s trying to shame him, and therefore anyone else who’s thinking about or already has published hateful, misogynist, creepy things on the Internet, out of the game. But why does Brutsch do it?
“I just like riling people up in my spare time.” (Via)
I don’t really feel like being yet another shouting head about all this (see the Gawker comments section if those are your people), so for now, I’m just going to sit back, read Gawker, read the non-creepy parts of Reddit, and…
Oops, wrong GIF.
Yup, do nothing and eat popcorn. That’s my ideal Internet. No photos of underage girls would be good, too.