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“Appoint yourself captain of the neighborhood watch. Don't set it up with the national program. The national program won't let you carry a gun or pursue suspects. Do it in a gated development where your black neighbors — 20 percent of the community — are targets of suspicion afraid of leaving their homes. Drive around in an SUV and keep an eye out for suspicious individuals. Look for young black men, the kind you've warned people about, the kind you think "always get away." Monitor the 7-11. Find someone who "looks like he's up to no good, or [is] on drugs, or something," someone "carrying something," someone "looking about." Call 911. ”—
If you want to kill someone and get away with it, tell the police that he attacked you. Tell them you stepped out of your SUV, because you wanted to look at the name of the street you were on. Tell them the kid jumped you from behind. Even if he didn’t have a criminal record. Even if he was an A and B student. Even if you have 110 pounds on him. Even if he was staying at his father’s fiancé’s house, and carrying Skittles and iced tea he’d bought during half time at the local 7-11.
Don’t worry if you sound drunk or high; the police won’t test you for drugs. Don’t worry about your gun; it’s licensed. Don’t worry about your seven-year-old arrest for “resisting arrest with violence and battery on a law enforcement officer”; the charges were dropped. Don’t worry about the cell phone that the kid was on, calling his girlfriend, as he fled from you. No one knows where it is, and no one’s going to investigate it.
Do it in Sanford, Fla., and there’s a good chance the lead investigative officer will be the same guy who didn’t arrest a lieutenant’s son who’d been videotaped attacking a black homeless man. Do it in Sanford, where seven years ago two security guards — one a cop’s son —shot and killed another black teenagerwhom they claimed was trying to run them down after dropping his friends off at an apartment complex.
Do it in a town where the police chief will say without any trace of ironythat his “investigation is color blind and based on the facts and circumstances, not color,” and that he “can say that until I am blue in the face, but, as a white man in a uniform, I know it doesn’t mean anything to anybody.” Kill someone under the jurisdiction of a police chief who’d say that both you and your victim would “probably do things differently” if you both relived that night.
If you want to kill someone and get away with it, do it in a country where two of the three major news networks will barely cover your crime, and where it takes three weeks to become a national story. Do it in a country where the only possibility that you might get prosecuted is when the federal government steps in.
You know why this hurts so much? Because it’s true.
Dear everyone remotely connected to Jezebel:
Now would be a great time to resign in protest.
What they just did, which was, let me remind you, posting screencaps of a woman’s rape that was uploaded to youtube, that goes so far beyond the pale of human decency….
I cannot believe they thought this was okay simply because they hid the identity of the woman.
There are survivors on that staff, or there were, last time I was at Jezebel. Any woman with her head screwed on straight can tell you that this shit is not okay.
Fuck them, fuck the Gawker network, and fuck the enablers.
Journalism is not doxxing
“Doxxing” is the practice of piecing together personal information culled from someone’s publicly available online profiles and comments in order to figure out their real life identity. Many people are careless about maintaining their anonymity and will use the same screennames and email addresses everywhere. That makes it easy to cross-reference details they leave on one website with their Facebook or Twitter accounts and find names, phone numbers and even addresses. Many times, the determined doxxer doesn’t even have to trace your IP address or hack into your accounts. You might inadvertently be leaving traces of your real life identity all over the place.
The intention behind doxxing is generally malicious. It’s to connect people’s online activities to their offline lives and expose them to harassment. Doxxing is also problematic because it’s easy to make a mistake and identify the wrong person.
Doxxing is a particularly big problem for already vulnerable groups, like women and girls, closeted gender/sexual minorities, and people with persecuted religious or political beliefs. Doxxing can get those people stalked, harassed, injured, imprisoned, or even killed. Being able to use your real name online without worrying about negative repercussions is a privilege many people don’t have.
Don’t want to get doxxed?
- Use a unique screenname for every website you regularly use.
- Don’t link your main email address to any of them.
- Don’t link your Facebook profile to any of them.
- Make sure your passwords are all strong and that your FB privacy settings are set up the way you want them.
- There are some creeps out there who steal pictures from Facebook and Photobucket. Think hard about any pictures you put online.
- If you’re really paranoid, you can salt your blog entries, Twitter feed, or comment history with false personal information. “Man, I sure do love being a 6’2 Canadian tutu manufacturer”….(um, less obviously fake than that.)
That said, what Adrian Chen did was journalism. He did not “doxx” Violentacrez—he wrote an article about him and a pretty even-handed one at that. He interviewed the subject and the subjects’ acquaintances. He gathered information from publicly available sources.
The intention was not to intimidate or harass Michael Brutsch, but to inform the public about the shady side of a very popular website. The article also raised important questions about free speech, privacy, anonymity, and personal responsibility online. Chen also attached his name and reputation to the article—another reason why it is journalism, not doxxing.
So describing the Chen piece on Michael Brutsch as “doxxing” (as many seem to be doing) is inaccurate. The term subtly suggests that Chen was setting Brutsch up to be attacked by a mob with pitchforks. Will Brutsch face negative social consequences for his online activities? Probably. Will he be jailed or lynched? Given that he’s a white man living in a country where the rule of law is strong, I strongly doubt it.
Brutsch is not the victim here. He willingly posted disgusting and inflammatory things online for kicks. He’s not entitled to any pity or sympathy. He was a shitty person for years and it’s finally coming back to bite him in the ass. I find it more pathetic than sad that Brutsch is figuring out at the age of 49 that there are limits even to white/straight/male/cis privilege.
You want to know who the real victims are? All those girls whose Facebook pictures he stole and posted on Reddit for pedophiles to download (including this 14-year-old). All those girls and women who were forced to become porn stars without their knowledge or consent. The families of the dead children (r/deadjailbait) whose pictures he posted online to shock and titillate. The minorities (r/n*ggerjailbait, r/Jewmerica), rape victims (r/rapebait), and violence victims (r/chokeabitch) whose pain he exploited for lulz. Michael Brutsch didn’t give a shit about them, so why should we give a shit about him?
Do you know what upvotes are called on Reddit?
Violentacrez apparently had tens of thousands of karma points by the time he deleted his profile. But Michael Brutsch didn’t understand what karma truly is until now.