Listen … Rape is a polictically volatile topic (5:08 PM, Aug. 26, 2012) …item 2.. GAWKER — Unmasking Reddit’s Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web – Reddit had already exploded in outrage. (OCT 12, 2012 5:00 PM) …

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Listen … Rape is a polictically volatile topic (5:08 PM, Aug. 26, 2012) …item 2.. GAWKER — Unmasking Reddit’s Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web – Reddit had already exploded in outrage. (OCT 12, 2012 5:00 PM) …
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I had just told him, on Gchat, that I had uncovered his identity as the notorious internet troll Violentacrez (pronounced Violent-Acres).

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.
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……..***** All images are copyrighted by their respective authors ……..
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… message header for FSU News

Lately, several male politicians have been saying some really stupid things regarding issues on abortion, birth control and rape—things that they will never truly understand simply because they have different sexual reproductive organs.

Not to say this makes men any less important, but it’s a little bit harder to justify their opinions on matters they can’t relate to.
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…..item 1)…. FSU News … www.fsunews.com … Rape is a polictically volatile topic

5:08 PM, Aug. 26, 2012

Written by
SAMANTHA HUSTED
Staff Writer

FILED UNDER
FSU News
FSU News Views

www.fsunews.com/article/20120827/FSVIEW03/120826013/Rape-…|newswell|text|frontpage|p

Recently there’s been a really big women’s rights movement that has been continually growing and picking up tons of female and male supporters. It makes me feel good knowing that men and women alike can recognize there’s something wrong with the way our society treats women.

Though this movement is necessary and a step in the right direction for human rights in general, it has been spurred and has grown from a lot of negativity. Especially regarding women’s health and the right for a woman to choose what she does with her body.

Lately, several male politicians have been saying some really stupid things regarding issues on abortion, birth control and rape—things that they will never truly understand simply because they have different sexual reproductive organs. Not to say this makes men any less important, but it’s a little bit harder to justify their opinions on matters they can’t relate to.

Which is why I get frustrated when politicians, men who are in power and make important decisions, say ignorant things about issues they obviously don’t understand fully.

Take Congressman Todd Akin, what a swell guy. He states, “It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors….[pregnancies from rape are] really rare.” He continued, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Okay, wait, what? So does that mean anyone who’s been raped and has become pregnant as a result wasn’t really raped?

It wasn’t legitimate because her body didn’t ward off the offender?

What a ridiculous assertion. I think we should take a moment and recognize that rape is rape. There’s no way to legitimize it or make one rape more rape-like than the next.

It’s a horrible thing that happens to women and men everyday. And guess what? It can sometimes result in pregnancy.

Women aren’t just baby-making vessels who can control when they’d like to get pregnant. There’s no way of telling your uterus that maybe you’re not ready for a baby yet. Todd Akins has since apologized, but only after all the negative responses his statement recieved.

This whole situation regarding women’s health and a right for her to choose is immensely frustrating for me, especially when comments like Todd Akin’s are made. Ignorance such as his is unacceptable and is holding women back. Making cases of rape seem illegitimate and less important is wrong. There’s no way to justify a rape and the fact that his statement was said shows me that he doesn’t care about women’s health. Just as long as they don’t get abortions he’ll be happy. It’s scary to think that Todd Akin has the power to make decisions that could potentially affect my body.

I feel like our society is constantly, to be super cliché, taking two steps backwards for every step forward. Our government can’t be fueled by ignorance and fear. If they don’t completely understand something they should try to and not spew word vomit like Akin was guilty of.

We need to build tolerance and understanding in our country. If things like rape make you uncomfortable, that’s okay, but that doesn’t mean you should shove your misguided “facts,” into a government forum.
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…..item 2)…. GAWKER … gawker.com

VIOLENTACREZ THE INTERNET REDDIT MICHAEL BRUTSCH CREEPSHOTS LONGREADS

Unmasking Reddit’s Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web
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img code photo … THE MAN BEHIND THE TROLL … Michael Brutsch, 49

img.gawkerassets.com/img/181ycj8ex213ujpg/original.jpg

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Adrian Chen
OCT 12, 2012 5:00 PM

gawker.com/5950981/unmasking-reddits-violentacrez-the-big…

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.

***
I first became aware of Violentacrez last year, when controversy erupted over a section, called "Jailbait," that Violentacrez had created on Reddit dedicated to sexualized images of underaged girls. (Brutsch adapted the name from "Violent Acres," a popular anonymous blogger he was fond of in the mid-2000s.) Reddit, for the uninitiated, is essentially a social news site; with a free username, anyone can submit and vote on content and can do so anonymously. And anyone can start a forum on Reddit dedicated to their interests, known as a subreddit. Today, there are about 10,000 active subreddits out of nearly 100,000 total, spanning a dizzying array of topics from funny pictures, to Power Rangers, to pooping. If a post gets enough "upvotes," as they’re called, it can be propelled to the front page of Reddit and a massive audience.

The breadth of topics and dedication of users has made Reddit, which calls itself the "front page of the internet," the single dominant force in internet culture today, boasting over 3.4 billion pageviews this August. It reached a new level of legitimacy last month, when President Obama held a Q & A on Reddit. These days, Reddit is mentioned in the same breath as Twitter and Facebook by pundits expounding on the power of social media.

But Reddit’s laissez-faire attitude towards offensive speech has led to a vast underbelly that rivals anything on the notorious cesspool 4chan. And with Jailbait, Violentacrez decided to create a safe space for people sexually attracted to underage girls to share their photo stashes. I would call these people pedophiles; the Jailbait subreddit called them "ephebophiles." Jailbait was the online equivalent of systematized street harassment. Users posted snapshots of tween and teenage girls, often in bikinis and skirts. Many of these were lifted from their Facebook accounts and thrown in front of Jailbait’s 20,000 horny subscribers.

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.
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img code photo … Michael Brutsch, 49

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Michael Brutsch at a Reddit meet-up.

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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.

"I’ve always been upfront about the sorts of things that I find attractive," he said. Brutsch didn’t create the creepshots subreddit which was launched earlier this year. But when it started to get heat after a teacher in Georgia was fired at the end of September for allegedly posting covert pictures of his underage students, it only made sense that the section’s moderators would bring Violentacrez on to help deal with the newfound attention. He was a moderator until Creepshots was banned this week amid increasing controversy. (The circumstances surrounding Creepshots’ ban is unclear, as Reddit’s General Manager had told Buzzfeed they would not ban the subreddit because it wasn’t breaking Reddit’s rules.)

Having his screenname mangled by Anderson Cooper on CNN for Jailbait was Violentacrez’s biggest moment as a troll, but it wasn’t his first time in the spotlight. Since Brutsch stumbled on Reddit from a link on the internet culture blog Boing Boing in 2007, he has pushed the boundaries of Reddit’s free-speech culture. He has done this mostly through creating offensive subreddits to troll sensitive users. Some of the sections Violentacrez created or moderated were called:

Chokeabitch
Niggerjailbait
Rapebait
Hitler
Jewmerica
Misogyny
Incest
You can look those up on Reddit and visit them if you’d like to ruin your day, but the content is self-explanatory.

Unlike Jailbait, which apparently sprung from a sincere interest, many of Violentacrez’s most offensive subreddits were created just to enrage other Reddit users. At this they were very effective. What happened was, some do-gooder would stumble upon one of his offensive subreddits and expose it to the rest of Reddit in an outraged post. Then thousands more would vote the thing to the front page of Reddit. Cries to censor it would sound out, to be almost inevitably beaten back by cries of "free speech!" The idea of free speech is sacred to many Reddit users, a product of the free-wheeling online message board culture from which Reddit springs. If you criticize someone else for posting something you don’t like, you are a whiny fascist.

Violentacrez explained his trolling philosophy to the internet culture website the Daily Dot in August of 2011. He had sparked yet another controversy by posting a graphic image of a partially clothed woman being brutally beaten by a large man, in "beatingwomen," a subreddit dedicated to glorifying violence against women. A Redditor had called out the picture in a post, and it was voted to the front page.

"People take things way too seriously around here," Violentacrez said. " I was not surprised by the outrage of the person who made the post, because I see it all the time. What was surprising was the community support for it. Most posts that complain about these things never do very well, and are quickly buried or deleted. I think it’s interesting how many people defend my right to act the way I do, while decrying my posts themselves."

A troll exploits social dynamics like computer hackers exploit security loopholes, and Violentacrez calmly exploited the Reddit hive mind’s powerful outrage machine and free speech values at the same time.

It was this pattern, repeated to various degrees dozens of times, that made Violentacrez an unlikely hero to many of the white male geeks who make up Reddit’s hard core. They saw Violentacrez as a champion in the fight against the oppressive schoolmarms: "He upheld a certain amount of freedom for the worst of us to ensure freedom for all of us," wrote one user in a post mourning his departure. Fans followed him wherever he went on the site.

As his fame grew, Brutsch began selling T-shirts with an illustration of a zombified version of Reddit’s alien logo, designed by a professional illustrator, that he had adopted as Violentacrez’s logo. He created a subreddit called Violentacrez, dedicated to news and posts about himself. Last year, the Daily Dot named him the most important Redditor of the year. Violentacrez was the most influential user of one of the most influential websites on the internet.
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Violentacrez was a troll, but he was a well-connected troll.

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All the while, Violentacrez’s critics cried out the same refrain: "How does he get away with this?" One reason Violentacrez continued to occupy such a high-profile position on Reddit was of course his free speech rhetoric. But Violentacrez has historically had a close relationship with Reddit’s staff, a fact far less well-known than his controversial behavior. Violentacrez was a troll, but he was a well-connected troll. He told me he was close with a number of early Reddit employees—many of whom have now moved on—chatting with them on IRC or sometimes even on the phone. A few years ago, while Jailbait was still going strong, Reddit’s administrators gave him a special one-of-a-kind "pimp hat" badge to honor his contributions to the site, which he proudly displayed on his profile. Brutsch said he was even in the final running for a job as a customer support representative at Reddit last year.

During the Jailbait controversy, Erik Martin, the site’s General Manager, reached out to Violentacrez beforehand to warn him that they were going to have to shut down his prized possession, according to a chat conversation Violentacrez leaked at the time.

"Want to give you a heads up," Martin wrote. "We’re making a policy change regarding jailbait type content. Don’t really have a choice."

(Martin did not respond to requests for comment.)

Violentacrez’s privileged position came from the fact that for years he had helped administrators deal with the massive seedy side of Reddit, acting almost as an unpaid staff member. Reddit administrators essentially handed off the oversight of the site’s NSFW side to Violentacrez, according to former Reddit lead programer Chris Slowe (a.k.a. Keysersosa), who worked at Reddit from 2005 to the end of 2010. When Violentacrez first joined the site and started filling it with filth, administrators were wary and they often clashed. But eventually administrators and Violentacrez came to an uneasy truce, according to Slowe. For all his unpleasantness, they realized that Violentacrez was an excellent community moderator and could be counted on to keep the administrators abreast of any illegal content he came across.

"Once we came to terms he was actually pretty helpful. He would come to us with things that we hadn’t noticed," said Slowe. "At the time there was only four of us working so that was a great resource for us to have."

Administrators realized it was easier to outsource the policing of questionable content to Violentacrez than to dirty their hands themselves, or ostracize him and risk even worse things happening without their knowledge. The devil you know. So even as Jailbait flourished and became an ever-more-integral part of Reddit’s traffic and culture—in 2008 it won the most votes in a "subreddit of the year" poll—administrators looked the other way. "We just stayed out of there and let him do his thing and we knew at least he was getting rid of a lot of stuff that wasn’t particularly legal," Slowe said. "I know I didn’t want it to be my job."

Violentacrez’s close relationship to administrators made him an elite member of Reddit’s army of moderators, known as "mods" on the site. Though much is made of the millions of users who submit content to Reddit, it’s Reddit’s over 20,000 volunteer mods who are the real secret behind its success. They act as janitors and editors, keeping their subreddits clean and well-stocked with content. Reddit’s main innovation has been to move these users up the food chain, from simple content-generators to management positions. This allows Reddit’s mind-boggling breadth of content and users to be overseen by just a few paid employees. The downside is that it requires Reddit’s official management to enter into uneasy symbiotic relationships with sketchy but effective moderators like Violentacrez.

And sometimes those relationships become more trouble than they’re worth. After the Jailbait controversy, Violentacrez claimed repeatedly on Reddit, he was cut off from administrators who had been burned by the controversy. In fact, when I spoke to him, Brutsch said Reddit admins had been keeping their distance for a while. He suggested that the site wasn’t what it used to be. In recent days, he has been posting less, stirring up less drama.

When it comes to mods, the political model of Reddit is not so much a vast digital democracy, as it’s often framed by fans and users, as online feudalism. Moderators like Violentacrez are given absolute control over their turf in exchange for keeping the kingdom of Reddit strong. Moderators become more or less powerful in direct relation to the number and popularity of the subreddits they moderate, so they try to take over other subreddits to boost their profile in the community. Inevitably, Reddit’s administrators develop relationships with the most influential moderators. Like feuding medieval lords vying for the king’s favor, moderators form alliances or wage epic flame wars over power struggles.

This is how Violentacrez, Reddit’s creepiest user, also became its most powerful. Sure, he was responsible for the absolute worst stuff on Reddit, and by extension, some of the worst stuff on the internet. But Violentacrez was also seen to be, as Chris Slowe put it to me, "a trustworthy and a positive member of the community." He moderated more than 400 subreddits and had many high-profile friends, amassed over many years. His stable at times included hundreds of popular mainstream subreddits, like Funny and WTF, that reach audiences of millions. Violentacrez further solidified his reach by becoming a mentor to other moderators. He created the first FAQ for Reddit’s rather unintuitive moderator interface. He also helmed a number of subreddits dedicated to providing guidance and camaraderie for other moderators, including the essential modhelp.

So it was no surprise that when news got out earlier this week that I was working on a story that would expose Violentacrez’s real identity, other moderators on Reddit rallied to defend him. The popular politics subreddit led the charge, by banning all Gawker links.

"As moderators, we feel that this type of behavior is completely intolerable," they wrote. "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."

Some have taken this as an expression of Reddit’s users’ fondness of Violentacrez’s pornographic generosity. In fact the ban was probably more an expression of friendship by the Politics subreddit moderators. Violentacrez probably trained some of them. They were mad that their buddy was going to be outed for simply, in their mind, exercising his free speech—his unalienable right to anonymously post stalker shots of women.

***
When I called Brutsch that Wednesday afternoon and told him I knew who he was, I was a little taken aback by how calm he remained during our intense but civil hour-long conversation. I had figured that a man whose hobby was saying horrible shit just to screw with people online would rise to some new horrible level when conditions on the ground actually called for it. Instead he pleaded with me in an affectless monotone not to reveal his name.

"My wife is disabled. I got a home and a mortgage, and if this hits the fan, I believe this will affect negatively on my employment," he said. "I do my job, go home watch TV, and go on the internet. I just like riling people up in my spare time."

I asked if he regretted anything he had posted, now that he’d be found out. No, he said. "I would stand by exactly what I’ve done." The problem was, he explained, that if his identity got out, his many enemies would start attaching lies to his name because they simply don’t like his views. They would say he was a child pornographer, when all he had done was spearhead the distribution of thousands of legal photos of underage girls. They would say the fact that he created a subreddit dedicated to Hitler meant he was anti-Semitic, when really it was just trolling. (Brutsch says he’s got Jewish blood himself: "If you see a picture of me, I’m about as Jewish looking as they get.") They would Google-bomb his name and the word "pedophile" along with his publicly-traded company’s name.
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I asked if he regretted anything he had posted, now that he’d be found out. No, he said. "I would stand by exactly what I’ve done."

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He needed to keep his anonymity to protect his ability to express things many people think but hardly anyone says. With Violentacrez, "I got the freedom to talk about my personal life, my personal feelings… I’m sure there’s more than one person in this building who’s a pervert," he said, referring his office building.

He asked a number of times if there was anything he could do to keep me from outing him. He offered to act as a mole for me, to be my "sockpuppet" on Reddit. "I’m like the spy who’s found out," he said. "I’ll do anything. If you want me to stop posting, delete whatever I posted, whatever. I am at your mercy because I really can’t think of anything worse that could possibly happen. It’s not like I do anything illegal."

I told him it wasn’t my place to tell him what to do, that I was just reporting on what he’d already done, but this did shake me a bit. It didn’t help that our phone call had been unplanned and I hadn’t properly steeled myself for a tough conversation. In the beginning it was just supposed to be a friendly gchat conversation with Violentacrez, not a confrontation with Brutsch himself.

I had initially told Violentacrez I was interested in profiling him in light of the new controversy surrounding creepshots. I arranged the Gchat interview without hinting that a former online friend had tipped me off to his real identity during the Jailbait scandal, after the friend had become disgusted with his obsession with underage girls. Since then, Violentacrez had recorded the geek podcast The Drill Down with other high-profile Reddit moderators, outing his voice. All I had to do was call up Michael Brutsch and match his voice to Violentacrez’s. My plan that Wednesday was to have the chat with Violentacrez before calling Brutsch. I didn’t want to risk calling Brutsch first, only to have him shut down completely once he realized he was outed.

Unfortunately, I’ve never been good at keeping secrets. My poker face is so bad it can be read even through a computer screen, apparently. In our Gchat, I pressed Violentacrez about his anonymity enough that he grew suspicious. We were chatting about why he feels comfortable attending IRL meet-ups of Redditors if his anonymity was so important to him when he caught on.

me: it seems like you’re not super careful about keeping your identity under wraps, if you meet people in real life. A lot of trolls I’ve talked to would never do that or give out as many details about themselves as they do.

violentacrez: have you been given my real name?

me: yeah

violentacrez: that’s not good

me: it seems like you’ve told a lot of people. Are you surprised it would get out?

violentacrez: yes, I thought I could trust those who know. Are you going to out me?

Panicking a bit, I quickly picked up the phone and dialed the number I had found on Brutsch’s online resume so I could hear Brutsch’s voice to see if it matched Violentacrez. It did.

"So, are you going to out me?" he said.

***
One thing that Brutsch wasn’t worried about when I talked to him on the phone was his immediate family finding out about his online habits.

"He won’t really care," said Brutsch of his teenage son, the one about to join the Marines. "He thinks I’m creepy as it is."

The Violentacrez clan seems to have walked out of a Todd Solondz movie, and a significant part of Violentacrez’s mythos on Reddit comes from the details he’s shared about his family. In 2010, Violentacrez hosted a legendary "Ask Me Anything" thread"—the same Q & A feature Barack Obama took part in last month. He was asked what was the creepiest thing he’d done "IRL" and delighted readers with a tale ripped out of Penthouse letters. "That’d be a tough call," Violentacrez wrote, "Perhaps oral sex with my 19-year-old stepdaughter." It was completely consensual, he claimed in the post, and went on to brag about how awesome it had been in graphic detail.

This happened over ten years ago, Violentacrez claimed. When his then-wife, the girl’s mother, found out, she "got mad, then got over it," Violentacrez wrote. He says they were married for ten more years.

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.

About a year ago, Violentacrez’s teenage son did his own Ask Me Anything thread. His son uses the handle Spawn_of_VA and he is dad’s biggest fan. Interspersed among talk of family game night, Spawn_of_VA regaled readers with more weird tidbits about his father, including the fact that he has a "suitcase full of dildos in his closet" and a "roller type thing with spikes on it, he uses that to roll on his balls."

When I first read Violentacrez’s and his son’s AMAs I, like many other readers, figured this was just some next-level trolling. Violentacrez’s wife and his son were probably just sockpuppets, right? But on the phone, I asked Brutsch if Spawn_of_VA was really his son. He is, Brutsch said. I asked if everything he and his son had said in their AMAs were real. As far as he could remember, he said, it was.

***
The extent to which trolls separate, or fail to separate, their online and IRL lives is as varied as people themselves. There’s an idea of the troll as an information age Jekyll & Hyde, with the anonymity provided by the internet playing the role of Hyde’s serum that transforms the mild-mannered geek into a monster. Observers often cite the psychological theory called deindividuation, which argues people literally lose themselves when granted anonymity.

But Violentacrez/Michael Brutsch upset this idea by blurring his online and offline lives. Brutsch adopted a new name for trolling, but he built his horrible character on many details from his real life. In real life, Brutsch is an unabashedly creepy old man with seven cats and two dogs and a disabled wife and a teenage son about to join the Marines. He was all of that online, too—only he was famous for it.

Both offline and online he could be either a creepy uncle, or a loyal friend and helpful guide. Violentacrez had a surprising number of friends on Reddit, for someone who once created an entire subreddit dedicated to pictures of dead teenage girls (Picsofdeadjailbait). He helped organize IRL meet-ups, where he showed up in a t-shirt with his zombie logo on it, and told everyone there to call him "VA." Attendees agreed to blur his face in any resulting pictures before posting them to Reddit. Brutsch is an internet minister, and he said he once married a pair of Redditors in real life, though they only knew him by his "clean" handle: mbrutsch.

One longtime Redditor I spoke to talked about Violentacrez with the warmth of an old college friend.

"He’s a really a good guy," she said. This user was in the Arlington area for business once, and she stopped by Brutsch’s house for lunch. "He has the manners of a Southern gentleman," she said. "A bunch of neighborhood kids were over playing at his house."

The only thing missing was joining the name Violentacrez to the name Michael Brutsch, and even that information he had given to many of his online friends. Reddit administrators have long known his real identity, Brutsch said, which he gave them in order to prove that he had nothing to hide. But Brutsch was still anonymous to the people he wanted to be, mainly his employers, and by unmasking him I am sure to get criticism for supposedly violating his privacy.

Even before I published this article, Reddit had already exploded in outrage. (Gawker sites are now banned from over 60 subreddits, and some pissed off user has signed me up for approximately two dozen mailing lists.) 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.

But for Reddit, the stakes are higher than just one man having to answer for things he’s done online. To them, the "doxing" of Violentacrez—"doxing" is hacker slang for publishing someone’s personal information in order to intimidate or punish them—is an assault on the very structure of Reddit itself. The Daily Dot sums up their logic:

At Web communities like Reddit, which thrive because users are free to say and do anything they want, doxing is a severe crime, both to users and the site’s staff. It’s far worse than offensive speech like racism and homophobia or, yes, even posting surreptitiously snapped photos of innocent women for creeps to perv over. Why? Because doxing undermines the community’s structural integrity: Reddit simply would not exist as we know it if users weren’t operating under the freedom of a flexible identity. So redditors aren’t banning Gawker to protect violentacrez, they’re doing it to protect themselves.

Under Reddit logic, outing Violentacrez is worse than anonymously posting creepshots of innocent women, because doing so would undermine Reddit’s role as a safe place for people to anonymously post creepshots of innocent women.

I am OK with that.

***
Brutsch shut down the Violentacrez account abruptly this past Tuesday, six days after we spoke. When I Gchatted him that night, Brutsch told me, "I guess I just got tired of all the hassle." He said he was done with Reddit for good. "Reddit ceased being fun a while ago," he said.

Now he’s going to spend the hours he used to lose to Reddit on work. "Oh, and possibly looking for a job will obviously keep me busy ;) "

I asked what he’ll miss most about Reddit. "The people," he said. "Reddit is nothing without the community. I’ve already gotten a few cheery goodbyes from people: ‘Keep in touch. You are still a good friend.’"

But he didn’t stay away long. In the past couple days, he apparently popped up in a private subreddit called "modtalk," where moderators and administrators talk clear up some misconceptions about why he’d left. (Including one rumor that I had somehow "blackmailed" him into quitting.) In the ensuing discussion, a user named themanwithnoname wrote, "VA, I don’t know you personally, but I’ve appreciated some of your comments over the years. I hope your life rocks from here out."

To which Violentacrez replied, under the handle VA_11102012: "I miss posting porn."

Update, Monday 10/15: Reddit’s Biggest Troll Fired From His Real-World Job; Reddit Continues to Censor Gawker Articles
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San Diego, CA
dog oral care

Image by Oggie Dog
background; USS Midway (CV-41)

foreground; a salute to Bob Hope

Design notes: Located in a grove of coral trees atop a landscaped mound with broad curving steps, the National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military features a grouping of sixteen larger than life-size bronze figures in a 48-foot diameter circular plaza. The figures represent a typical road show with Bob entertaining troops near the front. The focal point is a bronze of Bob Hope himself by renowned sculptor Eugene Daub. Fifteen additional sculptures form an eternal audience representing men and women of the five branches of the U.S. military services. Attractive landscaping and lighting showcase the National Salute for visitors day and night, by land and water.

About the Sculptures: The bronze figures are sculpted in military uniforms authentic to the various eras of Bob’s career from World War II through the Korean War, Vietnam War, Cold War, and the first Persian Gulf War. The fifteen military bronze figures were designed and fabricated by the Daub Firman Hendrickson Group and the Steven Whyte Studio. A brief description of each follows:
World War II Paratrooper

The 101st division (the Screaming Eagles) was activated on 15 August 1942 at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana on 19 August 1942. During World War II, the Pathfinders of the 101st Airborne Division led the way on D-Day in the night drop prior to the invasion. On 2 August 1944, the division became part of the First Allied Airborne Army. As part of this formation it took part in Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands. During the Battle of the Bulge the 101st defended the vital road junction of Bastogne. Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe replied to the demand for surrender: “To the German Commander: NUTS! —The American Commander.” (Some are convinced that what he actually wrote was less polite.) The division held its ground. This figure is of a sergeant in the 101st Airborne paratroopers, (not a pathfinder), who participated in the Normandy invasion.
Korean War Infantryman

We have chosen the 45th infantry division for this figure of a private for several reasons relating to the desire to honor Native American veterans. It was formed from citizen soldiers in the Southwestern U.S. It had at least two Native American Medal of Honor winners in the Korean War. Its insignia is the Native American thunderbird, and it is known as the Thunderbird division. The insignia is a strong clue for the viewing public the soldier may be Native American. Native Americans volunteered for service in Korea in higher proportion than any other identifiable ethnic group.
Gulf War Soldier in Desert Storm

Forty thousand women were deployed in Operation Desert Storm. Many, including those in the 82nd Airborne, were in combat and 16 were killed. This marks a change in American military history were many mothers with young children serve in the armed forces. The Desert Storm Gulf War soldier is an African American 2nd Lieutenant in the 82nd Airborne. The cast on her right leg emphasizes her combat role, and also serves to honor all wounded veterans. She has a notebook on her lap in anticipation of receiving an autograph from Bob Hope.
Korean War Sailor

More than 265,000 navy personnel served in Korea during the war. The U.S. Navy eliminated the North Korean navy, prevented and destroyed enemy troop landings, performed on-land reconnaissance, carried out allied troop landings, evacuated over 100,000 allied troops at Hungnam, bombarded shore positions, and launched thousands of aerial sorties. The Korean War sailor is a Seaman 1st Class, who will be holding one of the handles of the Gulf War soldier’s wheelchair. He is in his dress blues.
World War II Fighter Pilot

The World War II fighter pilot is a captain in the Army Air Force, with the 332nd Fighter Group (originally the 99th Fighter Squadron)—the Redtails—within the 15th Air Force. This group is famous for two reasons: 1) it is the only fighter escort group to lose no bombers to enemy fighters, and 2) it was composed entirely of African Americans. The 332nd shot down 111 German fighters, including at least two Me-262 jets, and earned 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses. They were also known as the Tuskegee Airmen because they were trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee, Alabama. In 1949, pilots from the 332nd Fighter Group took first place in the Air Force National Fighter Gunnery Meet at Las Vegas Air Force Base, Nevada.
Vietnam War Artilleryman

This soldier is a private in an artillery unit from the Vietnam War. He is holding a home-made sign which reads “Go Bob!” He is wearing a T-shirt with no insignia, with his dog tags outside his shirt. US artillery in Vietnam was organized under I Field Force, II Field Force and XXIV Corps Artillery, consisting of 44 battalions in total. These battalions played a significant role in supporting American and allied infantry.
Vietnam War Air Force Mechanic

The mechanic is a Hispanic technical sergeant in the Air Force in the Vietnam War, seated on a wooden ammo box. A little remembered episode is that the first Air Force mechanics in Vietnam were sent in support of the French for seven months in 1954, in a deployment that grew to nearly 500 men. Their base at Do Son was under frequent attack, and the Viet Minh captured 5 men.
World War II Marine Corps Sergeant

The sculpture is of a patient from the 44th Field Hospital, one of the largest fully equipped hospitals in the Philippines during World War II. The Medical Statistics Division of the Office of the Surgeon General has estimated that close to 15,000 men in the U.S. Army, including Army Air Forces, suffered amputations during the period from 1 January 1942 to 31 March 1946. The maximum census reported by these amputation centers for any one month was 9,240 in June 1945. The figure is depicted in his issue blue robe, freshly pinned with the Purple Heart. “Bedside presentations” of this award, which would typically entail a general entering a hospital with a box of Purple Hearts, pinning them on the pillows of wounded service members, and then departing with no official records kept of the visit or the award. Service members themselves could complicate the issue by leaving hospitals unofficially, returning to their units. In such cases, even if a service member had received actual wounds in combat, the award of the Purple Heart might never be recorded in official records.
Korean War Marine

This sculpture of a Korean War Marine is of an African-American Marine shown in the standard issue cold-weather uniform required by the harsh Korean winter. Holding a sign marked “Thanks for the Memory” he communicates the support and appreciation of U.S. troops for Bob Hope and his efforts with the USO. African-American servicemen distinguished themselves in combat during the ground battles with the North Korean army and in the air war over Korea. The Korean War is considered by many as the turning point in the acceptance of African-Americans as proven members of the U.S. military. Following the Korean War, the Army abolished the 300 segregated all-black units that had previously existed and integrated the more than 300,000 African-Americans into the previously all-white units.
World War II Navy Machinist Mate

This figure is a portrait of a Machinist Mate, Third Class Petty Officer (PO3) from the USS Lark. The subject is depicted from the year 1944 as he would have appeared while stationed at Mios Woendi “Windy Island” in the South Pacific. The sculpture represents a sailor who served during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, which was fought in the seas around the Philippines following the initial landings and return of U.S. forces to these islands in October 1944. Consisting of four major air-sea battles fought over several days, including Taffy 3’s famous action in the Battle off Samar on 25 October, the Battle of Leyte Gulf was the greatest naval battle in history. In a last and desperate gamble to halt the advance of allied forces in the Pacific, most of the remaining major units of the still-formidable Imperial Japanese Navy were sent forth into this battle. In the Sibuyan Sea, off Cape Engaño, in Surigao Strait and off the island of Samar, U.S. sailors and airmen met, repulsed and defeated the Japanese fleet in this the last great naval battle between opposing fleets in World War II. The figure is depicted standing on a box in dungarees that were modeled from original period clothing acquired from the family of a World War II veteran. Further refinement to the uniform was based on information provided through oral history given by Hal Tinker, retired US Navy. The figure is a Caucasian male of approximately 22 years of age. The age of the sailor is based on footage of members of the audience at the Mios Woendi performance by Bob Hope featured on The Best of Bob Hope: The Ultimate Collection, “Bob Goes to War”.
Coast Guard Squadron One

The uncharted nature of the waters surrounding Vietnam made the members of the U.S. Coast Guard an invaluable component in military efforts in the region. Crewmen assisted in patrols, rescues, and topography. Early on in the conflict, it was determined that the Coast Guard would provide seventeen 82-foot patrol boats. On 29 April 1965, the formation of Coast Guard Squadron One was announced. On 6 May, the Coast Guard ordered the deployment of the seventeen patrol boats and only twelve days later they were loaded on merchant vessels in New York, Norfolk, New Orleans, Galveston, San Pedro, San Francisco and Seattle. At Coast Guard Base Alameda, Coast Guard Squadron One was formed. Initially, 47 officers and 198 enlisted were assigned to the newly formed Squadron One. The 82-footer’s main job was choking off the enemy’s sea-borne supplies. The Squadron would become the backbone of the Coast Guard’s fleet. Hispanics played a valuable role in the Vietnam war and accounted for 25 percent of the casualties. Their contributions have been particularly linked to the Coast Guard where a Hispanic crewman was awarded a Purple Heart.
Gulf War Air Force Staff Sergeant

The sculpture features an Asian-American female of approximately 22 years of age, a Staff Sergeant from the Communications Squad stationed in Kuwait City in 1990. Age of the figure was established from oral history from a member of the U.S. Air Force who had served in Kuwait. Sixteen percent of veterans from Desert Storm are women, and by 1993 over 50,000 Asian-Americans were in uniform. The figure is shown standing wearing a standard issue Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) with standard-issue desert combat boots. Reference for the uniform was provided by a Desert Storm veteran who loaned the uniform she had worn while serving in the Gulf to the artist.
World War II Navy Pilot Lieutenant

This World War II pilot is a Lieutenant in the Navy, fighting in the conflict in the Pacific. Thirty years after the Navy had acquired its first airplane and only 19 years after it had acquired its first aircraft carrier, naval aviation faced the supreme test of war. At the beginning of the war the Navy and Marine Corps air arms could muster only seven large and one small aircraft carriers, 5 patrol wings and 2 Marine aircraft wings, 5,900 pilots and 21,678 enlisted men, 5,233 aircraft of all types including trainers, and a few advanced air bases. World War II marked the first time in history naval engagements were fought entirely in the air without opposing surface forces sighting each other. In the course of the war, Navy and Marine pilots destroyed over 15,000 enemy aircraft in the air and on the ground, sank 174 Japanese warships, including 13 submarines, totaling 746,000 tons, sank 447 Japanese merchant ships totaling 1,600,000 tons and, in the Atlantic, destroyed 63 German U-boats. The pilot in this figure is seen with his Mae West in a light summer flight suit worn to protect against the heat and humidity. He is shown wearing non-standard boots based on oral histories from Navy pilots who explained that the pilots often wore different boots out of fear that the standard-issue foot wear would become water logged in the event of a sea landing.
Vietnam War Navy Medic

This figure is a Hospital Corpsman Third Class, U.S. Navy, from Quang Nam Province from 1968. With the escalation of the Vietnam conflict between 1963 and 1975, Hospital Corpsman were called to serve in Southeast Asia. They served in Marine Corps and Navy Air/Ground Forces, Naval Support Activity Hospitals, off the coast of North Vietnam, in Cambodia and in Thailand. They performed emergency treatment in all kinds of combat conditions. They were assigned to small medical teams that provided care and health advice to Vietnamese civilians. Some were assigned as medical advisors to Vietnamese military units, which required that they live in small, poorly defended villages. Hospital Corpsman truly felt the brunt of the Vietnam conflict. Six hundred twenty were killed or mortally wounded and another 3,353 were wounded in action. Awards for gallantry and intrepidity in action included 3 Congressional Medals of Honor, 29 Navy Crosses, 127 Silver Stars, 2 Legions of Merit, 290 Bronze Stars and 4,563 Purple Hearts. The subject’s uniform is completed with standard-issue drawstring pants, based on reference photographs in U.S. Military Operations 1945-1985 by Kenneth Anderson and combat boots, based on reference photographs from Left at the Wall: Artifacts from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He is posed sitting on top of an ammunition box suggesting the often-makeshift nature of Hope’s impromptu stages. He is wearing no shirt reflecting the more casual nature of the USO performances in Vietnam. The figure’s dog tags are thrown around his back to allow him to clap.
World War II Army Nurse

More than 59,000 American nurses served in the Army Nurse Corps during World War II. During the conflict, nurses worked closer to the front lines than they ever had before. Within the “chain of evacuation” established by the Army Medical Department during the war, nurses served under fire in field hospitals and evacuation hospitals, on hospital trains and hospital ships, and as flight nurses on medical transport planes. In all, more than 200 Army Nurses lost their lives during World War II. The skill and dedication of these nurses is credited for the extremely low post-injury mortality rate among American military forces in every theater of the war. Army nurses all served as officers and were slightly older than some of the soldiers they tended. This figure is seen in her regulation uniform. She is sketching a character of Bob Hope with a love heart.

Site notes: The National Salute site is at the northwest corner (far left in photo) of the G Street Mole. This is in proximity to other military related monuments in the neighborhood including the “Homecoming” sculpture, the “Aircraft Carrier Memorial” obelisk, the “Battle of Leyte Gulf” monument, and the USS San Diego (CL-53) Memorial. The retired aircraft carrier U.S.S. Midway, now a popular naval aviation museum and venue for public events, is moored permanently adjacent to the mole and forms an appropriate naval backdrop for the National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military.

Site notes: The National Salute site is at the northwest corner (far left in photo) of the G Street Mole. This is in proximity to other military related monuments in the neighborhood including the “Homecoming” sculpture, the “Aircraft Carrier Memorial” obelisk, the “Battle of Leyte Gulf” monument, and the USS San Diego (CL-53) Memorial. The retired aircraft carrier U.S.S. Midway, now a popular naval aviation museum and venue for public events, is moored permanently adjacent to the mole and forms an appropriate naval backdrop for the National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military.

About the sponsors: The inspiration and planning for the National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military was provide by a veteran’s group called Task Unit 77.4.3/Taffy 3 (“Taffy III” for short.) The common bond of these World War II Navy men is that they served bravely on warships of Task Unit 77.4.3 that were sunk during the famous Battle off Samar during the Battle for Leyte Gulf on October 25, 1944. (“Taffy III” was the call sign of this task unit.) In recent years, these men have devoted their efforts toward raising awareness and money for monuments to preserve the history and honor the veterans of this era. The nearby Battle of Leyte Gulf Memorial is an earlier project funded and built on Port tidelands by Taffy III. The National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military is the latest and most ambitious Taffy 3 commemorative project. The project was built with donated funds.

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