Identity Of Violentacrez On Reddit Revealed
Gawker has discovered the identity of Reddit user Violentacrez. Gawker’s Adrian Chen called Michael Brutsch last Wednesday afternoon about being caught. He works at a Texas financial services company as a programmer. ”It’s amazing how much you can sweat in a 60 degree office,” said Brutsch. The 49-year-old programmer Michael Brutsch is known for posting images of scantily-clad underage girls on Reddit with the moniker Violentacrez.
Violentacrez also posts racism-, porn-, gore-, incest-related content on the website. Violentacrez was recently working on moderating a new section of Reddit where users post photos that they have captured taken of women in public. Most of them are close-ups of inappropriate material for voyeurism purposes. This section is called “creepshots.” Brutsch is now the one being exposed and he seems uncomfortable about it according to Chen.
Brutsch is a top Reddit user for posting a lot of content. He is described as the “creepy uncle of Reddit.” Brutsch is a military father and is a cat lover. He and his wife live in Arlington, Texas. Brutsch used the name Violentacrez because he was found of a blog titled Violent Acres. Reddit is a social news website where anyone can submit and vote on content anonymously. Sub-sections of the website can be created by people regarding their interests, known as subreddits. There are around 10,000 active subreddits out of 100,000 total created. If a post in a subreddit receives enough votes, it gets front-paged to Reddit.com.
Reddit calls itself the “front page of the Internet.” The website received over 3.4 billion pageviews as of August and President Obama even did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on the website.
Brutsch is known for actively posting in a subreddit group called “Jailbait.” In this subreddit, some of the 20,000 subscribers grabbed photos from the Facebook accounts of underage girls and posted them on Reddit. These photos would be pictures of teenage girls in bikinis. Brutsch and other moderators would ensure that every girl on the Jailbait page was underage. They deleted photos of girls that seemed older than 16 or 17. Brutsch himself posted hundreds of photos.
Jailbait received a lot of attention and even CNN’s Anderson Cooper bashed on it and Reddit for hosting the content. Brutsch’s username Violentacrez was called out specifically by Cooper.
Brutsch told Gawker that he was not a pedophile, but was not apologetic about the Jailbait group. He compared the material to Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time” video. Britney was 16 when she made that video. ”I’ve always been upfront about the sorts of things that I find attractive,” said Brutsch in the Gawker interview. Brutsch even created a subreddit called “beatingwomen,” which glorified the violence against women.
After receiving a lot of attention, Reddit had no choice but to shut-down the Jailbait group. ”Want to give you a heads up,” stated Reddit general manager Erik Martin in an e-mail to Brutsch. “We’re making a policy change regarding jailbait type content. Don’t really have a choice.”
Reddit administrators realized that it was easier to have questionable content policed by Violentacrez instead of working on it themselves. Jailbait even won the most votes for “subreddit of the year” award as part of a poll in 2008. The administrators did not focus much on that
“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,” stated former Reddit lead programmer Chris Slowe in an interview with Gawker. “I know I didn’t want it to be my job.”
“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,” said Brutsch. “I do my job, go home watch TV, and go on the internet. I just like riling people up in my spare time.”