To the scores of underage women who've had their images posted on the Internet without their permission, former Reddit troll Michael Brutsch has something to say to you: He's sorry. Sort of.
In an interview that will air on "Anderson Cooper 360," Michael Brutsch, the 49-year-old Texas native responsible for various racist and misogynistic forums on the popular link-aggregating site Reddit told CNN's Drew Griffin that he regrets posting pictures that may have hurt others.
One day after Brutsch indicated on Reddit that he would sit down on Cooper's show, CNN gave the press a preview of what one of the Internet's biggest trolls had to say for himself.
"With the rape and incest Reddits, I have come around over the last few months to understand that some of these things can be harmful to some people," Brutsch said.
"Are you apologizing for what you did or trying to make an excuse of what you did?" Griffin asked.
"Well, I am to some degree apologizing for what I did," Brutsch said. "Again, I was playing to an audience of college kids."
On Friday, Gawker's Adrian Chen identified Brutsch as the notorious Reddit user named "Violentacrez." Brutsch was fired from his job at a finance-services company less than 24 hours after the blog post was published. He also deactivated his "Violentacrez" handle in the aftermath of the Gawker expose.
"Violentacrez is what I did in my spare time to unwind from my 10-hour-a-day job," Brutsch told CNN. "That's how I relaxed in the evening. I no longer need to relax, because I no longer have a job."
Brutsch created various subreddits, or sections of the Reddit website, that posted questionable content of nearly naked young people that skirted the line of child pornography. His subreddits included ones called "Incest," "Chokeabitch," "Creepshot," and most famously, "Jailbait" (that is, images of children so scandalous having them might land you in jail).
"Well, honestly, the biggest thrill I got was those meaningless Internet points," he said.
"For those first two years, I had been tasked [by] Reddit admins with making certain that there was no overt or real child porn: no naked children, no naked teenagers, no children in swimsuits," he added.
The full interview will air tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET on CNN. For now, you can read the preview of the interview provided by CNN below.
GRIFFIN: ANDERSON OUTED YOU WITHOUT SAYING YOUR NAME A YEAR AGO, RIGHT? YOU COULD HAVE STOPPED THEN. IS THE ONLY REASON YOUR’E STOPPING BECAUSE WE NOW KNOW WHO YOU ARE?
BRUTSCH: YES. I MEAN THAT IS, YOU KNOW, VIOLENTACREZ IS WHAT I DID IN MY SPARE TIME TO UNWIND FROM MY 10-HOUR-A-DAY JOB. THAT’S HOW I RELAXED IN THE EVENING. I NO LONGER NEED TO RELAX IN THE EVENING, BECAUSE I NO LONGER HAVE A JOB. THAT AND THE FACT THAT THE CURTAIN’S BEEN PULLED BACK AND EVERYONE CAN SEE THE PUPPETEER…THAT AND THE FACT THAT I HAVE, AS WITH THE RAPE AND PREGNANT REDDITS, I HAVE COME AROUND OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS TO UNDERSTAND THAT SOME OF THESE THINGS CAN BE HARMFUL TO OTHER PEOPLE.
DREW GRIFFIN: ARE YOU APOLOGIZING FOR WHAT YOU DID OR TRYING TO MAKE AN EXCUSE FOR WHAT YOU DID?
MICHAEL BRUTSCH: WELL, I AM TO SOME DEGREE APOLOGIZING FOR WHAT I DID. AGAIN, I WAS PLAYING TO AN AUDIENCE OF COLLEGE KIDS. TWO YEARS AGO, WHEN ALL OF THIS WAS AT ITS HEIGHT, THE AUDIENCE WAS APPRECIIATIVE AND SUPPORTIVE OF THE SORT OF GALLOWS HUMOR THAT I PUT OUT THERE.
GRIFFIN: DID YOU GET A THRILL OUT OF THAT?
BRUTSCH: WELL, HONESTLY, THE BIGGEST THRILL I GOT WAS THOSE MEANINGLESS INTERNET POINTS.
MICHAEL BRUTSCH: FOR THOSE FIRST TWO YEARS, I HAD BEEN TASKED MY REDDIT ADMINS WITH MAKING CERTAIN THAT THERE WAS NO OVERT OR REAL CHILD PORN: NO NAKED CHILDREN, NO NAKED TEENAGERS, NO CHILDREN IN SWIMSUITS. JAILBAIT WAS MATURE TEENAGERS WITH THEIR CLOTHES ON. OR WITH THEIR NAUGHTY BITS COVERED. THEY DEPENDED ON ME TO MAKE SURE THINGS WERE WITHIN THE RULES AND THINGS WERE WITHIN THE LINES.
DREW GRIFFIN: THEY, MEANING REDDIT?
BRUTSCH: THE ADMINS THEMSSELVES.
GRIFFIN: THE PROBLEM IS, THE KIDS, THE TEENAGERS, THE PICTURES...WEREN'T YOURS?
BRUTSCH: THAT IS CORRECT.
GRIFFIN: YOU DIDN'T KNOW WHO THOSE KIDS WERE?
BRUTSCH: NO. AND NEITHER DID ANYONE ELSE.
GRIFFIN: THOSE KIDS DID
BRUTSCH: WELL, THEY KNOW WHO THEY ARE.