After being outed by Gawker last week, 49-year-old Michael Brutsch, long-known as Reddit’s most notorious troll “Violentacrez,” gave his first interview to CNN, in which the surprisingly soft-spoken software engineer apologizes for his activities on the social forum.
Brutsch was one of Reddit’s most well-known and active members, who achieved notoriety by posting highly offensive images to the forum, one of which was dedicated to pictures of underage girls. He created and moderated some of Reddit’s seedier subreddits, including: /r/chokeabitch, /r/rapebait, /r/hitler, /r/jewmeric, and /r/incest.
But it all came crashing down for “Violentacrez” when he was revealed by Gawker to be Michael Brutsch, a married Texas man who kept an otherwise clean slate. His outing has renewed conversations of deindividuation, a phenomenon in which people lose their identities when granted anonymity, and free speech on the internet, which Reddit still firmly supports, denying that they will ban offensive subreddits.
Here’s video of the interview, in which “Violentacrez,” AKA Michael Brutsch, apologizes for being a troll. What do you think? Is he genuinely sorry for years of trolling, or is he just sorry he got caught? Sound off!