Violentacrez vs. The World

Michael Brutsch is a 49 year old grandfather from the great state of Texas. He is also the man who has been completely overstated as the biggest troll on the Internet, Violentacrez, responsible for many of the most horrifically awful topics on Reddit. He was recently busted by Adrian Chen at Gawker.

If my mom saw half of what I did online, she would punch me in the face. Right. In. The. Face.

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So would anyone else, I suppose, as long as our morals were out of sync (and they had a penchant for  head punching). Even with the safety of my face guaranteed, I value anonymity online, although we all know that it is not absolute. There are illegalities that may bring the consequences of internet chest-puffing into your real life. This is okay. If you break the law, you get what you deserve. Black and white, right? But what happens when you reach an impasse? How do we deal with the gray area where something is so morally objectionable to most sensible people, but the law does not deem it wrong? This is what we’re facing in the Violentacrez vs. the World hub-bub, and I’m disappointed that a lot of folks are thinking with their hearts alone instead of with their heads. 

For the somehow unforced, a brief background: a Reddit user by the name of Violentacrez helmed a slew of really messed up subreddits. I mean, we’re broaching topics from incest (he claimed to have encounters with his step-daughter) to rape and misogyny. The guy even managed to cover a couple of bases at once with ‘n*gg*rjailbait.’

Skill. Ugh.

Anyway, the most notorious of these threads are ‘jailbaid,’ which boasted sexualized photos of minors that wouldn’t quite be cast as pornography, and ‘creepshots,’ where users posted pictures of everyday women, again, without consent and highly sexualized. These were highlighted on Gawker and CNN in 2011. Can we guess what Violentacrez did in his new-found limelight?

Anyone? Bueller…? Bueller…?

He upped the ante. Enter ‘beatingwomen,’ wherein our oman posted a photo of, well, a woman being beaten. The controversy died down, but never died out. Violentacrez’s subreddits recently pushed their way back into the forefront, thanks in part to a teacher being arrested for, well, creep-shooting (?) one of his female students. (to which I say, ‘What the what?’). They saga trudged on, with outraged folks outing forum participants on Tumblr. Finally, due to some savvy by Adrian Chen at Gawker, Violentacrez himself was identified.

Michael Brutsch is a 49 year old grandfather from the great state of Texas. He is also the man who has been completely overstated as the biggest troll on the Internet. When confronted, Mikey demonstrated two hallmarks of a cowardly asshat:

 

  1. He pleaded for Adrian Chen to have mercy on him, and all but threw himself at her feet so that she didn’t reveal his identity, and
  2. He passed the buck and refused to take full responsibility for his part in the ordeal.

 

Needless to say, he was put on blast, anyway. He blamed his radical actions on the wants of his audience of “college kids.” He blamed the stress of his job as a programmer and the strain of caring for his disabled wife. He even tried to separate himself from Violentacrez because it was just a persona – a character. Well, since you put it that way…

 Brutsch is scum – straight up bottom of the barrel quality. As a woman, fuck this joker. As a mother, fuck him. Fuck the job that he lost. Fuck the house that he might lose.  Fuck him. That’s my visceral, gut reaction, no apologies. Logically, however, I know that this naming-and-shaming isn’t the way to go. It is not because I give a damn about him or anything that he is close to losing, let’s make that really clear here. The guy was aware that his actions could have caught up to him in the real world, but since he kept on his path, I can assume that he didn’t care. Why, then, should I? What I object to is Chen playing vigilante and falling into a witch-hunt mentality. She overstepped her bounds. If she had concerns, she should have contacted Brutsch’s local authorities and let them handle it. Moreover, she only singled out one of  many, many posters. One man does not make such an institution alone. Hitler was not the only man responsible for the rise of Nazi Germany. It was him and those who stood in solidarity with him. She acted with just as little couth as he did, but because she appealed to a knee-jerk reaction that most of us had, she is not feeling as much fire. 

 For the record, I do believe that Michael Brutsch for what he deserved. What goes around comes around, right? I just don’t agree with how he got what was coming to him. I was particularly struck by what he said when confronted by Chen:

“It’s amazing how much you can sweat in a 60 degree office.”

I guess if you can’t handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

What say you?

 Was Chen right in her actions, or was she out of pocket? What would you have done?

 

Image courtesy of xedos4 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Author
Imayen Etim
Imayen Etim is a freelance writer and GameSkinny contributor based in Gainesville, Florida. She can be contacted at imayen.e [at] gmail.com