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Outing of that reddit guy

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Outing of that reddit guy

Postby kurt_w » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:45 am

Interesting story (albeit long) here:

Unmasking Reddit’s Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web

Like virtually all discussion forums on the web, most people using the DPF don't use their real names. Presumably most of us aren't thrilled about the idea of outing anonymous forons. On the other hand, most forons aren't Michael Brutsch.
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Re: Outing of that reddit guy

Postby Detritus » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:27 am

Fascinating--thanks for the link.
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Re: Outing of that reddit guy

Postby jjoyce » Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:37 am

That story is fascinating and some who work for Gawker are calling it the site's most important post ever.

I'm equally fascinated by the revelations in the days since about Reddit's policies and the mass ignorance of them. For example, the rules clearly state that posting offensive material is forbidden. Yikes!

We've never had someone as clearly offensive as that troubled man, but we've obviously had users who pushed the envelope just to establish and attempt to protect the right to push the envelope. It's like once you establish a community of any kind, you're inevitably going to have people who will try and find out where the boundaries are and work immediately to puncture them. Every organization, regardless how orderly, has anarchists.

I've heard some insist that rules for online message boards are ridiculous and counter-productive. Establish that people can be banned at any time for any reason and never offer up a reason for kicking someone off. The opposite would be Reddit, I suppose, which clearly benefits from a gigantic base of oddballs contributing and moderating.
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Re: Outing of that reddit guy

Postby Stebben84 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:51 pm

Here is another good article about the situation and Reddit in general.

http://moteandbeam.net/reddits-bildungsroman

There is much more, but this is the opening line.

This is my theory: outcast cultures, formed by those who feel a shared exclusion from the mainstream, must survive an awkward adolescence before integrating fully back into the culture from which they are spawned. And like most teenagers, there is a lot of whining, misfired blame, and crying about “never asking to be born” before those cultures realize that despite their memory of an idyllic second childhood, everyone must eventually grow up.
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Re: Outing of that reddit guy

Postby donges » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:43 pm

And here is the continuing saga where he loses his job after being outed.
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Re: Outing of that reddit guy

Postby Kenneth Burns » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:45 pm

Surely everyone who posts anonymously to the web realizes they can be found out. Behave odiously enough on the Internet, for long enough, and some smart person may start poking around.
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Re: Outing of that reddit guy

Postby Kenneth Burns » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:50 pm

A related phenomenon is sock puppetry.
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Re: Outing of that reddit guy

Postby Kenneth Burns » Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:18 pm

I refrain from posting anonymously because I can never think of clever screen names.
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Re: Outing of that reddit guy

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:54 am

donges wrote:And here is the continuing saga where he loses his job after being outed.


Unless they can prove he was doing this on the clock (which he seems to say is not the case), wouldn't this be grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit? Is there any evidence his actions on reddit effected his job performance? It's not like he is in a position where he needs to be dealing with customers directly.

edit: first sentence was meant to be a question
Last edited by Francis Di Domizio on Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Outing of that reddit guy

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:02 am

Francis Di Domizio wrote:Unless they can prove he was doing this on the clock (which he seems to say is not the case), wouldn't this be grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit.


I guess one could argue that the bad publicity could negatively impact the business.
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Re: Outing of that reddit guy

Postby wack wack » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:26 am

Texas is an employment-at-will state. He doesn't appear to be a member of a protected class.
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Re: Outing of that reddit guy

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:34 am

Stebben84 wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote:Unless they can prove he was doing this on the clock (which he seems to say is not the case), wouldn't this be grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit.


I guess one could argue that the bad publicity could negatively impact the business.



I haven't seen anything in any of the articles that list the company he works for (other than he's a programmer at a financial services company). By firing him they probably exposed themselves as his employer far more than having his name available.

Not sure of what his company did specifically but having worked as a programmer in the financial industry, the odds seem pretty slim that anyone outside the company dealt with him personally. The sad thing about the movie Office Space was how accurately it portrayed the environment.

Wack Wack wrote:Texas is an employment-at-will state. He doesn't appear to be a member of a protected class.


I guess that answers my question.
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Re: Outing of that reddit guy

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:46 am

Francis Di Domizio wrote:Not sure of what his company did specifically but having worked as a programmer in the financial industry, the odds seem pretty slim that anyone outside the company dealt with him personally.


Sure, but character says a lot about an employee. From the Gawker article:

http://gawker.com/5950981/unmasking-red ... on-the-web

Some of the sections Violentacrez created or moderated were called:

Chokeabitch
Niggerjailbait
Rapebait
Hitler
Jewmerica
Misogyny
Incest


I think this guy would have a hard time in court trying to defend those. And yes, he may not have contact with clients, but he does have contact with other employees. That could make for a toxic environment. He even said he knew he could lose his job if his name was leaked. This company could have also had some contract about personal conduct in and outside of the workplace.
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Re: Outing of that reddit guy

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:26 am

He's a epic troll to be sure, and if half the stuff he (and his son) have said on AMA's is anything to judge by, he's pretty creepy as well.

But he's had the job for what I have to assume is a long enough period that they should have a good representation of his work ethic and office behavior. Anything outside of that really shouldn't be relative.

Stebben84 wrote:I think this guy would have a hard time in court trying to defend those.
Exactly what would he have to defend in court? His right to free speech? They are all disgusting or offensive topics, but barring violations of the law, I'm not sure why he should have to defend himself in court over them.

Stebben84 wrote:he does have contact with other employees. That could make for a toxic environment.
Again, unless his behavior at work is causing this, I don't think it's valid grounds for termination.

I think wack wack hit it on the nail though, Texas being an at will state, they didn't have to justify his termination in any way. Which he was probably fully aware of when he found out he was going to be outed.
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Re: Outing of that reddit guy

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:32 am

Francis Di Domizio wrote:
Stebben84 wrote:I think this guy would have a hard time in court trying to defend those.
Exactly what would he have to defend in court? His right to free speech? They are all disgusting or offensive topics, but barring violations of the law, I'm not sure why he should have to defend himself in court over them.

The First Amendment's protection of free speech only applies to government efforts to suppress said speech. He worked for a private company. The First does not apply.
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