Reddit’s 'Doxtober': A Tragedy in Five Acts

Much of the content uploaded or moderated by Michael Brutsch, aka Violentacrez was, by his own admission, pornographic. His images graced the pages of infamous subreddits like r/jailbait, which Brutsch tried to top with r/picsofdeadjailbait after the former was called out for being the worst subreddit on all of Reddit. In his heyday, Brutsch was involved in over 400 subreddits with questionable content. After CNN’s Anderson Cooper brought mainstream attention to the shady subreddits eight months ago, Reddit banned 31 of them. Before that time, administrators had not attempted to clean up the cesspool. And while some of these subreddits were banned, the users and moderators who created and participated in them were not. In what now seems to have been a crisis management strategy, Reddit also implemented a new rule, which was explained in a link called, “Necessary change in policy.” No suggestive or sexual content featuring minors. What appeared to be a categorical prohibition on content that no reasonable, prudent person would consider “protected speech,” failed to fulfill its promise and led instead to a false sense of security. Then complacency set in. Meanwhile, Reddit’s new rule slipped outside to have a smoke and was never heard from again.