HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Places » U.S. » Texas (Group) » Here's a Texas troll I'm ...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 11:06 AM

Here's a Texas troll I'm not going to feel sorry was exposed

Gawker 10/12/12

Unmasking Reddit’s Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web

Last Wednesday afternoon I called Michael Brutsch. He was at the office of the Texas financial services company where he works as a programmer and he was having a bad day. I had just told him, on Gchat, that I had uncovered his identity as the notorious internet troll Violentacrez (pronounced Violent-Acres).

"It's amazing how much you can sweat in a 60 degree office," he said with a nervous laugh.

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.


7 replies, 1966 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Here's a Texas troll I'm not going to feel sorry was exposed (Original post)
sonias Oct 2012 OP
sonias Oct 2012 #1
sonias Oct 2012 #2
MicaelS Oct 2012 #3
redqueen Oct 2012 #4
sonias Oct 2012 #5
sonias Oct 2012 #6
formercia Oct 2012 #7

Response to sonias (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 11:10 AM

1. Violentacrez Fired: Michael Brutsch Loses Job After Reddit Troll Identity Exposed By Gawker

Huffington Post 10/15/12

Violentacrez Fired: Michael Brutsch Loses Job After Reddit Troll Identity Exposed By Gawker

Actions have consequences, which is something Michael Brutsch is just starting to learn.

Brutsch, aka "Violentacrez," was Reddit's biggest troll until Gawker exposed his true identify, revealing to the world the man behind questionable forums, such as r/creepshots -- a space dedicated to pictures of women unaware that their photographs had been taken.

Now that the 49-year-old from Arlington, Texas, has been outed, his behavior has caught up with him.

According to The Daily Dot, Brutsch was fired from his position at a financial services company less than 24 hours after Gawker editor Adrian Chen's exposé went live.


Actions do have consequences.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sonias (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 11:26 AM

2. The irony that his defenders miss

The nut from the Gwaker story:

The irony of being upset that a noted custodian of "creepshots" is getting some unwanted attention himself is obvious. Jailbait defenders would often argue that if 14-year-olds didn't want their bikini pictures to be posted to Reddit, they should not have taken them and uploaded them to their Facebook accounts in the first place. If Brutsch did not want his employers to know that he had become a minor internet celebrity through spending hours every day posting photos of 14-year-olds in bikinis to thousands of people on the internet, he should have stuck to posting cat videos.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sonias (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 11:31 AM

3. Now Brutsch is accepting Paypal donations.

Wow, some people have real gall. I bet he and his fellow travelers think he's the victim here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MicaelS (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 11:49 AM

4. They do. They consider the man who outed him to be a bully.

And trolls to be a minority group deserving of consideration.

It is a very sick culture we live in.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Reply #4)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 12:54 PM

5. It is a sick culture

And anonymity on the Internet gives these sick people and cowards and bullies power they do not deserve to wield. And their free speech defense is a weak shield of cover.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sonias (Original post)

Tue Oct 16, 2012, 01:15 PM

6. Gawker Outed Reddit's Most Notorious Troll. Why Isn't Law Enforcement Doing the Same?

Slate Magazine 10/15/12

Gawker Outed Reddit's Most Notorious Troll. Why Isn't Law Enforcement Doing the Same?

(snip)
Users like Violentacrez may defend their online domain as a “thought experiment” divorced from real life. But the truth is that though Reddit users can always create a new handle, they can’t really change who they are. When Chen sought out the "man behind the troll," he found a guy just as depraved as his online persona—a middle-aged white man who admits to an attraction to underage girls, boasts about having oral sex with his 19-year-old stepdaughter, and apologizes for nothing. Online, his reach goes that much farther—he’s not only empowered to exert his control over members of his own family, but also to exploit any 14-year-old girl from around the world.

Yes, the Internet is real life. But the trolls are correct—the rules of society do not always apply here. Reporters like Chen can help bring the Internet’s worst offenders back to reality, where the “free speech” of harassment is less valued. Violentacrez was canned from his real-life job soon after Chen’s story broke. But holding anonymous users accountable is hard work. When trolls are exposed in real life, they can always slip into a new skin and continue the destruction online.

Last month, a group of anonymous Reddit users rebelled against the site’s anything-goes mentality. They began systematically outing the men behind Creepshots, labeling them “Predditors,” and alerting campus and law enforcement authorities to the worst offenders. One of these men was Christopher Bailey, a 35-year-old substitute teacher who had been using Creepshots to post photographs of his “hottest” students and add his own suggestive commentary to the pics. Jason Fetner, the sheriff’s investigator who caught Bailey, told Jezebel that he had trouble convincing a judge that Bailey’s Reddit behavior was worth investigating—you know, using his position as a high school teacher to present his female students to a bunch of self-described “creeps” online. Why? Because Bailey was posting anonymously, and the tipsters were anonymous, too.


This creep, Violentacrez, may have helped build Reddit up and now he's certainly going to take a big part in bringing it down too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sonias (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 07:36 PM

7. An article from Aljazeera:



Should online trolls be exposed?

Debate over anonymity and free speech after a prominent internet troll's identity is revealed.



Last Friday, a writer for Gawker revealed the name of one of the Internet's most notorious trolls, Reddit's "Violentacrez," to be a 49-year-old Texas man named Michael Brutsch. Brutsch is one of Reddit's biggest contributors, moderating a number of highly controversial sections that angered and offended many online.

--snip--

More at the link:

http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/should-online-trolls-be-exposed

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread