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.
Adrian Chen outed out of Reddit’s most notorious creeps. The whole story is pretty fascinating, but this quote above kind of nailed it on the head for me.
I have very little patience for people who think that they deserve privacy while grossly disregarding the privacy of others. It’s like an inverted golden rule - treat people specifically like you would not want to be treated.
Remember kids, free speech might give you the right to be an asshole. It doesn’t give you the right to be an asshole anonymously.
Claps on claps on claps.
I see an extension of Ari’s post, The Problem of Online Anonymity, to this Reddit backlash. Check out the other portion immediately after,
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.
Also checkout the Daily Dot’s brief profile of Brutsch (aka violentacrez), according to them the most important person on Reddit in 2011 and a moderator of about 400 subreddits.
Clearly something at Reddit is foul, something larger than simply Michael Brutsch.
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