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Anatomy of a manufactured controversy (4)

And what was the response of reddit's feminist population to the change at r/creepshots? Was there a decision to celebrate the victory and move on to another subreddit, where further attention may be needed?


The "fempire's" next  step was doxxing, or the publication of one's personal or identifying information online. A tumbler thread was launched for the purpose of compiling and publicizing information on posting members of Reddit's most hated forums, including their real names, other social network profile information, where they live, and any other information the thread's creator could obtain. Also included on the thread is one of Paypal's donate buttons. Doxxing for dollars - sounds like a great name for a new game show.

And of course, on October 10, another Jezebel post was published to cheer "Samantha," (not her real name) guaranteed to steer traffic to her thread.

Shut down creepshots... because now, it was no longer about real predatory behavior, no longer about images of underage girls. It was about control, and about punishing redditors for publishing content which "Samantha" and other reddit feminists do not approve, regardless of whether or not it was actually criminal. Baker's post also introduced a new element to the story - a direct threat to one of the subreddit's moderators - in a link to what appears to be a forwarded message containing a threat and demands.

Also linked in the article was a shitredditsays meta post reminding users that doxxing is bad and lamenting their sub's bad public relations problem.

Coincidentally, that same day, SRS celebrated the takeover of r/violentacrez, calling it "the Fempire's new sub dedicated to calling out reddit's many pedos and pedo apologists."

This combination made it very difficult for other redditors to accept the story that r/shitredditsays had nothing to do with the doxxing threat, or later the doxxing of violentacrez, even after we learned that the blackmail image was from a message sent to another mod, not violentacrez.

On October 12, Adrian Chen published a post on Gawker disclosing violentacrez's real name, the type of business for which he worked, and the state in which he lives. The post sensationalized and expanded every negative characteristic Chen could attribute to violentacrez, even going so far as to pair the image of his face in a red monotone alongside the zombified version of the reddit alien which violentacrez has been selling on t-shirts. The post was a combined biography and indictment of the persona and history of Reddit's violentacrez, with potshots taken at not just him, but also at reddit's administrators, and the overall moderation system.

Chen also described knowing the effect his decision was going to have on the life of the man behind violentacrez, stating that Brutsch told him that he'd lose his job, and that his wife was disabled. He pointed out that his enemies would "start attaching lies to his name because they simply don't like his views." Chen admits in the article that the conversation shook him up. However, it didn't stop him from going through with the dox. Buried in the depths of the article, near the end, he excuses his damaging, personal attack on Brutsch with references to creepshots and a questionable age reference, as if claiming an altruistic motive for the act.

Given Gawker's propensity for similar behavior, I highly doubt that is the case.

In a comment on Reddit, Brutsch offered a rebuttal of the false information contained in Chen's post. Turns out there were several details on which the "journalist" failed to stick to facts.

On October 15th, Chen published another post, in which he briefly reiterated his assertions about Brutsch, gloated over the fact that his original post had, in fact, resulted in job loss for Brutsch, and then went on to whine about the choice of a number of subreddit moderators to boycott Gawker over the dox.

On October 16th, Chen published another post containing a statement to reddit's moderators and administrators from Reddit CEO Yishan Wong, interspersed with some of Chen's own thoughts.

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