Reddit uber-troll Violentacrez half-apologizes on CNN [video]

Violentacrez Brutsch on CNN

“Back in the day, I created a Reddit called /r/rape, for rape jokes.”

This troubling sentence comes from infamous Reddit troll Violentacrez, revealed by Gawker last week as 49-year-old Michael Brutsch of Texas, who appeared on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” on Thursday to tell his side of the story.

As Violentacrez, Brutsch became a Reddit celebrity for his creation of the popular social news website’s most controversial — many would say disgusting — communities, called “subreddits.” The most famous of those, “Jailbait,” which featured suggestive photos of underage girls, was called out by Cooper last year, and subsequently banned by Reddit’s mostly hands-off administrators.

Before it was banned, however, “Jailbait” brought in hundreds of thousands of pageviews for Reddit. The site’s administrators even gave Brutsch a “pimp hat” badge for his profile page. And one year, he won a gold Reddit bobblehead doll after the site’s users voted “Jailbait” the “Worst Reddit.”

But that was then. Now, Brutsch, who lost his job at a financial company after Gawker outed his identity, says he is sorry for what he posted — kind of.

“Well, I am to some degree apologizing for what I did,” Brutsch told CNN. “Again, I was playing to an audience of college kids. And you know, when two years ago, when all of this was at its height, the audience was appreciative and supportive of the sort of gallows humor that I put out there.”

Brutsch says Reddit’s system of “karma” — valueless points received for having posts or comments “upvoted” by other users — played a large part in his quest for the obscene. “Honestly, the biggest thrill I got was those meaningless Internet points,” he said during the interview. He added that “Reddit encouraged and enabled this kind of behavior.”

The Gawker piece, written and reported by Adrian Chen, has caused a firestorm of debate across the Web over free speech, online privacy, and Reddit’s role as one of the Web’s most influential sites. While many so-called redditors initially defended Brutsch’s right to anonymously post vile content on the site, with many subreddits even banning links to Chen’s article in protest, the tide appears to have turned.

“Your problem is that you just don’t know when to quit,” wrote reddit user ArtisticProgrammer, in response to a recent defensive comment by Brutsch. “If you had any intelligence at all, you would have been contrite, and unequivocally apologized for the hurt you caused people.”

Watch Brutsch’s interview with CNN below:


After Twitch ban for using homophobic language, musician Deadmau5 apologizes

Electronic musician Deadmau5 has been suspended from Twitch after using homophobic language during a PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds match. The musician later said he wouldn't be returning.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

Are you one of the billions who have watched these super-popular YouTube videos?

Viral videos can quickly garner millions upon millions of views, but even they fall well behind the view counts on the most watched YouTube videos ever. Those have been watched billions of times.

Marriott asking guests for data to see if they were victims of the Starwood hack

Marriott has created an online form to help you find out if your data was stolen in the massive Starwood hack that came to light toward the end of 2018. But take note, it requires you to submit a bunch of personal details.

New Chrome feature aimed at preventing websites from blocking Incognito Mode

A new Chrome feature will prevent websites from blocking Chrome users as they browse using Incognito Mode. The feature is supposed to fix a known loophole that allows websites to detect and block those using Incognito Mode.

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.

Chrome is a fantastic browser, but is is still the best among new competitors?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.

Microsoft extension adds Google Chrome support for Windows Timeline

The Windows Timeline feature is now much more versatile thanks to the added support for Google's Chrome browser. All you need to do to increase its functionality is to download the official Chrome extension.
Movies & TV

Here’s how to watch the 2019 Oscars livestream online

The 91st Academy Awards will air live on ABC, but there are also a number of ways to watch Hollywood's biggest night online using your mobile device, desktop, or set-top streamer. Here's how to catch the Oscars livestream.

YouTube changes its strikes system, offers softer first-offense penalty

YouTube announced changes to its strikes system for its content creators. The changes include a softer first-offense penalty for creators who violate YouTube's guidelines and more consistent penalties for further violations.

An experimental feature could help reduce memory usage in Google Chrome

Google Chrome might be the most popular web browser, but it also is a resource hog. Google is currently working on an experimental feature for Chrome which sets out to reduce its overall memory usage. 

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. The best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.