A thought-provoking piece about trolling and how our culture enables trolls:
…Whitney Phillips, a scholar whose dissertation was on internet trolling culture, unpack[ed] how Violentacrez’s behavior has implications beyond the harm he’s done individually. She points out that 1) troll culture is built on the assumptions of white male privilege, 2) individual trolls like Violentacrez are supported by a “host culture” whose values they reflect…and 3) there’s not that much difference between VA’s racist and misogynist trolling and the sensationalism of “corporate media culture.”
…[T]he real story in Chen’s piece is not so much the disclosure of Violentacrez’ identity as it is the culture at Reddit that enabled him–and the parallels to how our culture as a whole produces and consumes sexualized and exploitative images of girls and women.
…Precisely because Brutsch’s actions are part of a broader culture of exploitation, outing him as an individual is not the same thing as addressing misogyny and racism in online media/culture.
…[U]nmasking Violentacrez is a first, not a final, step. The profile of his behavior and the culture that supported him is much more than an occasion to castigate him; it’s an opportunity to turn the mirror on ourselves and our media culture. If we neglect that opportunity and are merely satisfied that a creep was uncloaked, the only benefited parties here would be Gawker and Adrian Chen, who…come out looking like heroes despite their own participation in the culture they’re calling out.