By now you probably know who Michael Brutsch is. You know he’s one of the worst trolls on the internet. You know his handle: Violentacrez. You know he’s from Arlington, Tx. You know you didn’t know his name when you went to work on Thursday… but you probably knew his work. In fact, Rebecca posted almost exactly one year ago about Reddit’s /r/jailbait, a subReddit that existed for posting sexy pictures of underage girls. You probably (hopefully) know less about some of his other sub-Reddits like /r/Picsofdeadjailbait which contained pictures of dead underage girls.
Some other excerpts from his magnum opus include:
You know who he is because Friday night he was outed by Gawker’s Adrian Chen (some ledes cannot be buried). And the internet did whatever the internet equivalent is of running through the streets, flipping over burning cars. Some flipped in solidarity. Some in anger. Some just because they wanted the parking spot.
A lot of people were angry that this man was being publicly outed. How dare Chen reveal his identity knowing that this information going public would, almost certainly, ruin his life. Others are quick to point out that he ruined plenty of people’s lives, and how fucked up it is to expect your privacy be held sacred for the purpose violating others’. And the whole thing about the internet not REALLY being anonymous and anything you say can come back to haunt you, and those chances increase as the value of that information increases. If you’re anonymously posting pictures of baby sloths on the internet, there is little value in uncovering your identity. If you are posing nude and inappropriately with baby sloths, the value goes up. If you are posting dead teenage girls for lulz? Come. On.
But some people think this is a threat to anonymity online. For those who rely on it. Like our own Bug Girl, who is actually required to remain anonymous.
So, gentle reader, what do you think of the outing of Violentacrez? Is the internet a better or worse place because of it? Do you believe that anonymity is valuable? Is anonymity at risk? Do trolls deserve to be outed?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm ET.