One day after Gawker outed Violentacrez as Michael Brutsch, “the biggest troll on the web,” Brutsch was back, this time as himself, mrbrutsch. What’s more, according to a leaked screenshot that SocialTimes obtained yesterday, Brutsch has been invited to participate in secret moderator discussions in a private subreddit. Why?
Reddit has made contradictory statements in the media regarding its latest pubic relations debacle involving the now defunct troll, Violentacrez, and the sleazy and sexual subreddits he was highly involved in, either as moderator, contributor or creator. Though hundreds existed in VA’s heyday, the most infamous include r/jailbait, r/chokeabitch, r/incest, r/picsofdeadkids and the latest, r/creepshots, in which women, mostly minors, were objectified and photographed without their knowledge for the sexual gratification of r/creepshots’ voyeurs and contributors.
So if Reddit really does “regret not taking stronger action sooner” and “regrets having sent the award” to Violentacrez for “Worst Subreddit,” why now is the troll who sold them down the river on CNN by saying, “Reddit encouraged this kind of behavior,” back on Reddit and privy to secret moderator discussions that include Reddit’s CEO, Yishan Wong?
Ironically (yet again), the mods of r/shitredditsays are not allowed to take part in these private moderator discussions, possibly because they are seen as trolls themselves. But how does that argument stand up when the “biggest troll on the Internet” is taking part? It also seems to fly in the face of Reddit’s free-speech arguments. Silence the critics? And while Reddit might argue that SRS is breaking a rule that prohibits threatening the structural integrity of the greater reddit community, SRS might argue that they are, in fact, protecting the greater community by bringing attention to and advocating against sleazy subreddits that publicize problematic and highly questionable content.
So while Reddit has deleted some of the newer, creepier subreddits that have popped up since the Violentacrez fiasco, Michael Brutsch is back, perhaps in search of those “meaningless internet points” that mean so much to him. As for Reddit’s motivation, it’s anybody’s guess; however, its CEO has complained recently about not having enough drama connected with his name. Maybe this will help.