Trolls!!!!!

stock-illustration-8093543-trollThis article is about the online troll Violentacrez and his undeniable ability to become very quickly and well known for his anti-societal antics on Reddit.  With Reddit being a free content website, users are able to post whenever and on whatever topics they want.  Trollers like Violentacrez show the ugly side of this privilege.  Content is basically arranged in “upvotes” which means that it is moved to the forefront of visible content on Reddit.  The more people “upvote” a certain posting, the larger network it spans and the more people are able to read it and have access to it.  It creates content prominence.
One of the more prominent postings Violentacrez created was about underage teenage girls, and people posting pictures of them in bikinis or swimsuits called Jailbait.  This became a very searchable posting on Reddit and soon rose to a very popular search item on Reddit as well as the internet it general.
Once this type of content was notoriously known on Reddit, the mass media quickly grabbed a hold of it, including Anderson Cooper who shamed Reddit and Violentacrez for aiding in this obvious exploitation of minors.
Because of media pressure Reddit officially banned the posting on their site.  Personally, I realize Violentacrez’s case about infringing on free speech by denying certain post subjects; however, other areas, such as child exploitation and underage semi-nudity are protected in other laws that are intertwined here.  I get the concept.  No matter what the content, America cannot censor it; however, to what extreme?  Is posting the most obnoxious foul and politically incorrect topic online the best way to prove the effectiveness of free speech, or is it simply a misguided attempt at trying to explain the importance of preserving it?  I think it’s the latter, and trolls like Violentacrez are shooting themselves in the foot when they are bringing sensitive issues such as child pornography to the forefront of their Freedom of Speech arguments. 
Some things are off limits not to censor America, but to protect its citizens.  After all the US Constitution is about protecting the welfare of its citizens.  You can’t argue that the exploitation of the innocent youth is protecting them, nor is it proving a case for censorship.
It relies on shock value and disassociates itself away from the intentions of the Constitution.
The article goes on to talk about Reddit’s involvement in providing Violentacrez a professional network of other Reddit employees.  So, while we see that Reddit takes the heat for a lot of what Violentacrez writes about, they also almost secretly (or completely open about it), support his right to do it.  In my opinion, this type of association might be detrimental to Reddit in the long run.  They are attaching their “honor” to a man who is anything but honorable and the only real thing he brings to the table is his right to be offensive.
So just what is the benefit of outwardly supported him?  Reddit benefitted from his administration skills.  He cleaned up a lot of postings that were illegal and seemingly helped to clean up Reddit content in general.  Eventually we see him leaving Reddit and occasionally resurfacing in subreddits here and there.  But the content is not the same.  Was society, or other media entities successful in infringing on his right to Free Speech?  I think that’s the point of this all.  Maybe society proved that although they can’t censor free speech they don’t necessarily have to approve it either.  Public outcry and pressures from other media outlets can effectively curb content, and, in this case, it is curbing the content away from material that the majority found offensive.  Why are the posters of such content so quick to quote the First Amendment whenever they are criticized for posting such material?  So fine, quote it, remind society it is your right to do it, but don’t get upset when the outcry becomes more of a hassle than anything else as it did for Violentacrez.  Your idea of Freedom of Speech gets lost in translation and obviously, the intentions or “mission” of trollers like Violentacrez isn’t to protect Freedom of Speech, but to be offensive.
The second article is about the first and what it really means to out someone who is posting such content.  They speak about public shaming, in that it has a way of regulating society, curbing content and protecting its citizens.  Brutsch feared being outed for the sake of his personal well being, including the health insurance gained by his employment that helped to pay for his wife’s medical care.  I think this is bullshit.  I think of the young girls who were “outed” by Brutsch and the all the women that were subjected to being photographed while they were in public in sexually arousing positions.  It is so childish to continually out people for your whole Reddit career, then exclaim your discontent for being outed for doing so.  We need to take responsibility for the content we post.  That is Freedom of Speech.  Taking responsibility in an otherwise anonymous internet era is tricky, but in cases like Violentacrez, it is justice.  He did not care about the young girls he was posting about, nor did he care about their parents.  Their parents were outed in their local communities when neighbors, or teachers or classmates saw pictures of their underage children in bikinis on Reddit.  Why are we not mentioning this aspect of it? The contents of Jailbait personally outed thousands of innocent people who had nothing to do with Reddit, nor gave their permission to use the material.  And we aim to protect the man posting it?  That’s the problem.
There was more defamation occurring that just Brutsch’s outing.  This was just the finale in a long line of posts that directly affected many lives on personal levels.  This is the tough love of internet anonymity.  It’s about social responsibility and consequence.  It is about dealing with the consequences of being outed as the creator of such content.  If you were to go the school board meeting with these types of ideas or photos, the people would be outraged.  Just because you can make up a screen name and say the same things anonymously, doesn’t mean you should receive sympathy when you are revealed for the content.

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One thought on “Trolls!!!!!

  1. Pingback: Commenting on blogs | peterjaysperoni

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