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Man behind 'Jailbait' posts exposed, loses job

 
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Prazol60 View Drop Down
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    Posted: Oct 19 2012 at 8:59am
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/18/us/internet-troll-apology/index.html?hpt=hp_c3
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An internet troll reviled for his pornographic posts on Reddit and recently revealed as a middle-aged software programmer told CNN that he made "a huge mistake."

For years, 49-year-old Michael Brutsch hid behind the online screen name "Violentacrez," creating hundreds of subforums on the user-generated website, such as "Rapebait," "Incest," "Pics of Dead Kids," "Choke a Bitch," and "Rape Jokes." "Violentacrez" has been banned from the site several times, although Brutsch still maintains a separate account.

Last week, Gawker revealed the identity of "Violentacrez," whose posts generated as many as 800,000 subscribers and triggered a debate about whether Reddit was criminally liable for the content of its forums. Reddit is a website where the popularity of posts -- and whether they are featured prominently on the site's main page -- is determined by registered users' votes.

Days after the Gawker article, Brutsch agreed to talk exclusively to CNN on camera at a hotel room in Fort Worth, about six miles from his home. He said his employer fired him after the Gawker article. He had worked there for seven years.

"One of the problems that came around and bit me in the ass was that I didn't really think about what I was doing," Brutsch told CNN. "And I didn't listen to people when they said, 'You really shouldn't do this.'"

Brutsch -- who is married, with a stepdaughter as well as a son and a stepson who are both in the U.S. military -- told CNN he started out posting "mostly soft-core PICS," such as "pictures of naked girls, that sort of thing."

"And as I'd find PICS of different types, like if it was a picture of an African-American woman, I created a Reddit called 'Women of Color,'" Brutsch said. "If it was, you know, a woman with large breasts, I created a Reddit called 'Boobies.'"

Years ago, Brutsch created his most infamous Reddit forum called "Jailbait" -- images of teenage girls posted without their or their families' consent. He said it became so popular, drawing hundreds of thousands of page views, that Reddit gave him an award -- a gold-plated bobblehead doll "for making significant contributions to the site."

In an email to CNN, Reddit said Brutsch had won a community vote for "Worst Subreddit" and Reddit now "regrets having sent the trophy." Reddit also said it banned Brutsch's "Violentacrez" account several times since last year, adding that it "regret(s) not taking stronger action sooner."

Looking back, Brutsch said his actions "were a huge mistake." He claimed he was addicted to Reddit and could not stop himself. The biggest thrill Brutsch said he got "was those meaningless Internet points," earned when "Redditors" voted for his posts.

Now that he's lost his job, Brutsch told CNN he was sorry -- but he didn't say exactly what he was apologizing for.

"Well, I am to some degree apologizing for what I did," Brutsch said. "Again, I was playing to an audience of college kids. And you know, when two years ago, when all of this was at its height, the audience was appreciative and supportive of the sort of gallows humor that I put out there."

Legal analysts are split on whether Reddit is breaking any laws by allowing its users to post such heinous images. Reddit stressed in its email to CNN that it "follows all the legal requirements regarding illegal content, including reporting to the proper authorities.

"By its nature, moderators at Reddit have complete control over the subsections they start unless they violate site rules or the law," it said.

CNN legal contributor Sunny Hostin said she believes the website is hosting "borderline kiddie PICS." CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin noted that while the website may not be breaking any criminal laws, its claim that it cannot interfere with its posters because they are protected by the First Amendment is "not true."

"If I say something terrible to you on the phone, you can sue me -- you can't sue the phone company," Toobin explained on CNN's AC360 last year. "A website is different. A website automatically exercises some control. You can see they have rules there. So the idea that they have no control over their posters, that's simply wrong."

Brutsch has not been charged with a crime. He was, however, questioned by police because of assertions that he had sex with his stepdaughter. He said it's not true.


Do you think he should have been fired? I really can't bring myself to feel sorry for him in any way. I feel sorry for his family because now they exposed to the media by his actions. His wife has been embarrassed that her husband is into looking at images of young girls and an outed racist. 

What I don't understand is why he agreed to talk to the media in the first place. Did he not see that his actions could led to this? There have been others that have had their lives ruined because of something they did online. Only a few can turn it around and make something of it. I doubt he'll be one of them.


Edited by Prazol60 - Oct 19 2012 at 9:00am
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NARSAddict View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NARSAddict Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 19 2012 at 10:37am
I stopped reading when I it mentioned that he was 49 years old.  To say that he has *&%^$#@Eed himself with no vaseline is an understatement of the week for me.  Unless he is willing to go through the contracting route, who's gonna hire him boo?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Prazol60 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 19 2012 at 2:45pm
Nobody and who should?! Who wants to work with this pervert right? I find it strange this guy has not been arrested. Isn't it a crime to be in possession of sexually explicit photos of those that are underage? 
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