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Last post Author Topic: Outing the Internet's worst troll.  (Read 12135 times)

40hz

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Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« on: October 14, 2012, 07:22:49 AM »
There's a really interesting article posted by Adrian Chen on Gawker last Friday telling the story of how Michael Brutsch (aka Violentacrez), the worst troll on Reddit (and possibly the worst troll in history) was finally "outed."

What is especially interesting is Brutsch's reaction and attitude in the wake of being exposed. Along with some notes on how sites like Reddit are sometimes willing to to give passive "permission" to trolling in order to get their clicks up.

Fascinating.

Link to full article here.
original.jpg


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


Last Wednesday afternoon I called Michael Brutsch. He was at the office of the Texas financial services company where he works as a programmer and he was having a bad day. I had just told him, on Gchat, that I had uncovered his identity as the notorious internet troll Violentacrez (pronounced Violent-Acres).

"It's amazing how much you can sweat in a 60 degree office," he said with a nervous laugh.

Judging from his internet footprint, Brutsch, 49, has a lot to sweat over. If you are capable of being offended, Brutsch has almost certainly done something that would offend you, then did his best to rub your face in it. His speciality is distributing images of scantily-clad underage girls, but as Violentacrez he also issued an unending fountain of racism, porn, gore, misogyny, incest, and exotic abominations yet unnamed, all on the sprawling online community Reddit.
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« Last Edit: October 14, 2012, 06:52:38 PM by mouser, Reason: added image for blogging »

joiwind

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2012, 08:27:21 AM »
Fascinating - and edifying ...
.: I use K-Meleon - the browser you can control - but I love Pale Moon too :.

wraith808

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2012, 10:44:50 AM »
But the thing about this 'outing' (not saying whether bad or good) is that if he works for a financial services company, and someone truly outed him (i.e. said Michael Brutsch if XX company), he'd most likely lose his job.  Its happened before...

40hz

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2012, 11:06:34 AM »
^Depends on the company. In my home state it might not be that easy unless you could show it affected the person's ability to perform their job. Unless the company had some ethics clause in their employment contract about personal or non-job related activities that might reflect unfavorably upon the company - or foster a "hostile work environment" by your presence. (They'd probably be able to make that one stick now that I'm thinking about it.)

Not that it will matter. SOBs like him tend to land on their feet. He'll probably just sit and wait for the movie or book deal. Or do a big "I Repent!!!!" act and then hit the motivational and pop psychology circuit giving lectures on how to keep what happened to him from happening to you. (He'll probably say it started out as a joke, but soon got out of control and eventually destroyed his entire "moral compass.")

sorry.jpg

Plus - he's trendy! He's the guy your mother warned you about. Cyber-bullying is a big hot button topic these days. Parent's groups and talk shows can't seem to hear enough stories, anecdotes and analyses on it.

Besides,  America just loves "Prodigal Son" stories and tearful repentant scenes on afternoon talk shows...


Awwww! Group hug everybody!!! :-\
« Last Edit: October 14, 2012, 11:13:15 AM by 40hz »

wraith808

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2012, 11:38:51 AM »
In my home state it might not be that easy unless you could show it affected the person's ability to perform their job.

Is your state an exception to the At-Will employment laws?  It says he's in Texas, so he's pretty much screwed.

40hz

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2012, 01:29:14 PM »
No. We have "at will."

But we also have an unemployment/labor bureaucracy that does everything in their power to keep an additional person from being added to our already high unemployment rolls.

Then there's the CHRO - one of the most ridiculous kangaroo courts ever created.

Check this out from their website:

Quote
It is illegal for employers, employment agencies or labor organizations to discriminate based on a protected class. That means that factors listed below as protected classes cannot be used when making decisions or taking actions related to recruitment, hiring, referring, classifying, promoting, advertising, discharging, training, laying off, compensating or establishing other conditions or terms of employment.

Protected classes in employment are:

Age
Ancestry
Color
Criminal Record ( in state employment & licensing only)

Gender Identity or Expression
Genetic Information
Learning Disability
Marital Status
Mental Disorder
Mental Retardation
National Origin
Physical Disability
Race
Religious Creed
Sex, including pregnancy and sexual harassment
Sexual Orientation

You may be a victim of illegal discrimination, if one or more of these factors was considered in an employment decision that adversely effected you.

All you need to do (no matter what you were dismissed for) is to file a complaint that any one of the above factors was "taken into consideration" (and with no more proof than you "felt" it was) and the bureaucratic wheels start turning...and turning...and turning...

And this commission (as it's currently constituted) has never met a government entity or business it likes (or believes) when it comes to testimony being given against a CHRO complaint filer.

Filing a CHRO complaint is almost like playing 5-card stud with Aces, Deuces and one-eyed Jacks all wild! Seriously. How many cracks at making a full flush can you not get with a game rigged like that?

--------------------------

Going back to Brutsch - considering some of the pictures he's posted, I think losing his job may be the least of his worries considering how so much of his antics involved photos of minors. With the publicity that's bound to ensue once the main newswires start picking up on this story, somebody in some official capacity is going to be forced to consider charges and possible prosecution. Be interesting to see if it's the feds or some state that goes first. (It's an election year. Spanking somebody like this guy makes for good campaign copy.)

But that's assuming somebody doesn't come gunning for him first and make it all very simple.



« Last Edit: October 14, 2012, 01:43:27 PM by 40hz »

wraith808

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2012, 03:11:39 PM »
Going back to Brutsch - considering some of the pictures he's posted, I think losing his job may be the least of his worries considering how so much of his antics involved photos of minors. With the publicity that's bound to ensue once the main newswires start picking up on this story, somebody in some official capacity is going to be forced to consider charges and possible prosecution. Be interesting to see if it's the feds or some state that goes first. (It's an election year. Spanking somebody like this guy makes for good campaign copy.)

But that's assuming somebody doesn't come gunning for him first and make it all very simple.

I don't disagree that someone might *try*, but as long as (a) the photos are not in the child pornography range and (b) they were obtained from the sources he says (facebook, twitter, etc), then it's not going to fly.  From my understanding, they were sexualized, but not explicit.  And considering what I see on facebook, twitter, and even at malls, that's not going to hold up.  And truthfully, I don't think that either side is pristine in that regard, i.e. adults shouldn't be looking at tweens in that way, but (and I know this is not considered PC), they shouldn't be dressing in that way either.

40hz

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2012, 06:28:32 PM »

I don't disagree that someone might *try*, but as long as (a) the photos are not in the child pornography range and (b) they were obtained from the sources he says (facebook, twitter, etc), then it's not going to fly.  From my understanding, they were sexualized, but not explicit.  And considering what I see on facebook, twitter, and even at malls, that's not going to hold up

Depends on where it goes to court if it eventually does. Some states are more "right-thinking" and "right leaning" so he'd have a better chance there. But just because a photo was obtained from Twitter or wherever is no guarantee that it was put up there with the subject's consent. He'd be co-liable in any event. Then there's copyright and privacy issues since I doubt he ever bothered obtaining written releases for any of it - especially from a parent or guardian in the event it was a minor in the picture.

Of course Reddit stands to get burnt a bit too. But I really can't feel sorry for them. And their spiel about allowing this animal to continue what he was doing in the name of protecting a contributor's privacy and providing a safe haven for discussion rings just a bit hollow to my ears. But I'm of the "if you ain't part of the solution you're part of the problem" school of thought when it comes to social issues like this one.

I personally hope Reddit gets their all too smug butt kicked royally for dancing with this troll as much as they did. Funny how they finally came to realize he was about to become a liability once it became obvious somebody was onto him. Because they sure ditched him shortly before the story broke. So I assume he tried to cry on Reddit's shoulders about it before it went live.

Nope. This story isn't finished yet. What's gone down so far isn't even the opening act.


wraith808

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2012, 07:59:37 PM »
Called It.  He's done.

40hz

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2012, 09:27:31 PM »
^Yes you did!  :Thmbsup:

Can't wait to see how many otherwise intelligent people in the web community end up making total asses and hypocrites out of themselves attempting to defend this moron.

I do find it amusing how so many in the web community claim to be defenders of free "give & take" and have a "let the fur fly" philosophy until somebody points the same gun at them. Almost like the old joke about how to turn a diehard conservative into a screaming liberal - just have the police stop one of them at 2:00am for a bogus traffic violation with no witnesses around to testify about what really happened shortly afterwards.

I'm waiting to see how long it takes before that "hang tough and screw you" response he's offering starts to fray. I give it about six weeks since the more that comes out about this guy, the worse it looks for anybody standing behind him. And I'm sure we'll hear plenty fairly shortly. Before it's done, this guy is going to become the poster child for everything that's wrong with allowing an open and virtually unregulated Internet.

Really sad part is that Reddit, by some of its recent behavior in this incident, is falling right onto the trap set by those who are arguing for greater legal restrictions on web activities and usage. Hard to argue for the sufficiency of self regulation and policing when it appears a surprisingly large group of savvy and vocal webmins are giving Brutsch's type of behavior their tacit approval.

Only a matter of time before some politicos start asking the old question: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?. And reach the inevitable conclusion that some new custodes are now required - and preferably be on the judicial branch's payroll.

wraith808

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2012, 09:57:38 PM »
He doesn't seem to be taking the hang tough and screw you approach.  If you read the stuff he posts on reddit, he says that the whole thing is his fault.  He just says he wouldn't change anything other than the trusting people stuff.  The stuff he posts is pretty abhorrent, and I don't agree with it.  But I don't think its worthy of a witch hunt...

Deozaan

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2012, 10:05:15 PM »
I don't understand why people defend the troll's free speech but condemn the gawker author's free speech of outing him. :huh:


wraith808

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2012, 10:10:26 PM »
I don't understand why people defend the troll's free speech but condemn the gawker author's free speech of outing him. :huh:

As I said in one of my posts on the subject elsewhere, everyone is responsible for their own use of the right of free speech, and the consequences thereof.  Truthfully, I don't agree with either- him doing it, or their capitalizing on it.  The writer says that it was "to bring it to light" like it was a charitable act, when it really was to make a scoop and get hits.  Just like his was to get attention, basically.  People compare this to someone outing a sexual predator that hasn't been punished or something, when comparing the two acts is comparing apples and oranges.  Both acts were self-serving, truthfully.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2012, 10:48:46 PM »
Trolls of the various kinds are the far edge of the free speech range. There's that Mid East article where the govts are upset about the religious angle. This guy is going for more shock stuff.

It's a famous problem because the powers that be can use him (and pay him!!?) as a poster boy, to enact more evil laws.

It's a cycle I don't know how to stop.

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2012, 10:27:59 AM »
I've been following this for a while, and have a few comments...

Betraying trust is betrayal. Pretty simple. Nothing further to say there.

For myself, I don't try to hide. I know it's futile. Everything I say I stand behind, though I must confess that many things I say are drunken farts. ;D Other things are simple nonsense, and many things are in jest. I know that many things I say cannot be taken literally, and really don't care much. Literalists are often total morons. Oh, and I meant that literally. :P ;D

For the media, well, they have no restraint or semblance of decency. Nothing more can be expected. They're whores. Dirty, disgusting, filthy whores. I don't mean that as a stain on prostitution. I have much more respect for prostitutes than for them. (I'm counting on other people's disdain for the profession here.) I hold prostitution in higher regard than many other professions, e.g. lawyers, doctors, politicians, bureaucrats, MSM journalists/presstitutes, etc. Prostitutes are at least honest about what they do. They do honest work for honest pay. (Comparatively.)

So, I probably have a skewed view compared to many other people. I don't apologize for it.

I also have little sympathy for the guy being "outed". If you can't stand behind what you say, then STFU.

I don't sit on any "side" here. I just see a disaster. And really don't have any position. Perhaps I'm ignorant of some facts. But from what I've seen here and elsewhere, I just see this as a big, dirty mess.

It hasn't really occupied much mindshare for me though, and I could be missing something. I just don't see any real problem here though. Guy was a douche, and got outed for it. Well... yeah. That was to be expected at some point. ? No?
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wraith808

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2012, 10:55:02 AM »
^ Pretty much what I think.  Other than the bit about prostitution.  Well, prostitution that doesn't involve pimps.  I don't hold the same disdain- they're people like any other, and the negative connotations I have are associated with johns that have other obligations.  A police friend of mine once told me they busted a guy with a ring and a baby seat in the back.  That's low.

40hz

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2012, 11:49:15 AM »
BTW: I don't see where the term "witch hunt" has any applicability here.

A witch hunt is when people go out and look for somebody (anybody) they can hang a label on by extension and then burn it.

This guy burned himself. He displayed reprehensible behavior and caused a lot of pain for no reason other than the simple pleasure of pushing buttons and watching people squirm. And he did it in a cowardly manner by hiding behind a mask - and then counting on the occasionally warped morality of the web (which says: It's all good.) to protect himself.

Sorry. Doing what this person did is plain evil. And like most things truly evil, it's amazing how utterly pointless and banal it is in its practice and intent.

Funny how, according to some people,  you have the god-given right to inflict as much pain and mayhem as you want to with impunity - and anyone who says otherwise is a bigot, a statist, a fascist, or any of the other labels the techno-hipster crowd is fond of slapping on anyone who dares ask "Should we really be putting up with this sort of thing?"

Perhaps it has something to do with upbringing? :)

Oh well...the Reddit spin doctors are out in full swing trying to build a case for how this individual is actually a very nice guy and didn't actually mean to cause all the suffering and annoyance he did. It was just done in fun - and screw you if you can't take a joke. Besides, all these dumb chicks were asking for it anyway, right?

Yup...that's the age old macho-male argument anytime one of their number is called to book for acting like a yahoo.

Like I said...must have something to do with upbringing. :-\
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 01:04:16 PM by 40hz »

Stoic Joker

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2012, 12:04:35 PM »
A police friend of mine once told me they busted a guy with a ring and a baby seat in the back.  That's low.
Really, why? ...Maybe he wanted to try something that his wife didn't. Is he really obligated to be stuck eternally wondering what it would be like? Why is that fair?

Here's the screwed up part. You can legally have at it with as many of anyone as is consenting...and it's all perfectly legal ... Unless somebody gets compensated for their time. That's just stupid puritanical nonsense that should never been allowed to become law.

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2012, 12:05:45 PM »
Hey, sway me one side or another... I just don't see it ATM. :(
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40hz

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2012, 12:28:38 PM »
anyone as is consenting

Agree up to a point. But then there's the issue of what you'd consider "consent."

"I think you're really hot and I'd like to go to bed with you!" is pretty clearly consensual.

But so is: "Ok. I'll do ya for $50 instead of $75 - but only because if I don't come back with enough money tonight, my Man is gonna beat the living hell out of me again." It's just a different form of 'consent.'

So too with a runaway fourteen year old who is thinking: "If I don't wanna turn tricks anymore they said I can go back living out on the street anytime I want to. So maybe this ain't so bad compared to the street."

Gotta be careful with arguments defending prostitution in the USA.

I was involved in a crisis call center at one point in my career. Got an earful enough to last a lifetime. And trust me, while there may well be thousands of "high-class call girls" and "sly-boys" out there who "love" their job, there's easily ten times that many homeless, brutalized, blackmailed, and drug-addicted prostitutes on the payroll of your average "procurer" or "madam."

It's an ugly business. Until you see up close how it actually operates, you have no idea just how ugly it can be.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 01:08:26 PM by 40hz »

wraith808

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2012, 01:13:48 PM »
A police friend of mine once told me they busted a guy with a ring and a baby seat in the back.  That's low.
Really, why? ...Maybe he wanted to try something that his wife didn't. Is he really obligated to be stuck eternally wondering what it would be like? Why is that fair?

Because he agreed to it?  And there's another uninvolved person whose life is totally affected by his choice.  If he gets something and passes it on to her... if both of them die of some infectious disease and leave the child alone... does that still fall in the realm of fair?

You don't have to get married- that's your prerogative, and many people are choosing that these days since marriage isn't such an imperative.  And you can get a divorce... that's becoming easier and easier.

But if you choose to commit, you should choose to treat that commitment (and the person you're committed to) with a modicum of decency and basic humanity, and not go around lying behind the person's back.  And before the whole "maybe it was agreed upon" argument comes up, he was begging to be let go with a warning so his wife wouldn't find out... so yes, the whole lying thing was present and in full effect.

Sorry. Doing what this person did is plain evil. And like most things truly evil, it's amazing how utterly pointless and banal it is in its practice and intent.

Bad yes.  Reprehensible yes.  Evil?  Well, we have a different definition of that.  I leave that to the people who do more than troll on the internet.  But the differences in definition are fine.  But when someone says that the people that shot the Pakistani girl were evil and you lump him in with it... well, you have too wide a spectrum there in my opinion.

Use of certain words in hyperbole IMO reduces the effectiveness of them when they are accurately used.  Racism, bigotry, homophobia, rape... they are used too commonly now, which water the terms down.  And IMO, this is a prime example of hyperbole.

anyone as is consenting

It's an ugly business. Until you see up close how it actually operates, you have no idea just how ugly it can be.

I totally agree with this.  It definitely doesn't just need to be legalized- but regulated in some way (which legalization would help) to get rid of some of the seamier practices that go along with it.  40 uses the example of a 14 year old... but the same thing applies to a 25 year old with two kids and no other way to make ends meet worried about offending her pimp.  Despair is a big part of that part of the industry that makes it as ugly as 40 says, and then some.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2012, 01:46:42 PM »
Backing up a bit from that angle, since my specialty is identity themes, I want to begin a look at "well, it's okay because it's *That Guy* (TM)." As long as it's That Guy, "it's okay to bust him, as he deserved it, la la la". Let me be the first to say I don't enjoy 95% of the output of trolls, but that's because it's the very far edge of the slippery slope. Do I stand by what I say? I do, *to a certain audience*. DC has its memes and my comments here are in the context of that inside understanding.  It would disturb me to have random people (do what the media likes to do, which is to...) pick juicy comments completely out of context.

I coined a phrase years ago for that - "Google Monkeys" - I even purposely left ID trails back to me, but it's enough to slow down bored snoops looking through 5,000 net posts for something to hang me with. Someone once told me to "write to an audience" and for example I have a 25% chance of getting a Slashdot post up-modded, because I write to that audience. I don't need ultra-prudes, maybe right wing maybe not, fine-combing every word I post.

And that's the thing - it gets slippery. Depending on your audience, the line between "hilarious" and "pure evil" slides a lot. Borrowing a slogan, "Friends Don't Let Friend's Mothers See 4Chan".

Stoic Joker

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2012, 01:47:33 PM »
anyone as is consenting

Agree up to a point. But then there's the issue of what you'd consider "consent."

Um... that would be the standardly accepted two (or more) consenting adults definition.

"I think you're really hot and I'd like to go to bed with you!" is pretty clearly consensual.

...Yepper, that's the one.

But so is: "Ok. I'll do ya for $50 instead of $75 - but only because if I don't come back with enough money tonight, my Man is gonna beat the living hell out of me again." It's just a different form of 'consent.'

So too with a runaway fourteen year old who is thinking: "If I don't wanna turn tricks anymore they said I can go back living out on the street anytime I want to. So maybe this ain't so bad compared to the street."

Gotta be careful with arguments defending prostitution in the USA.

I was involved in a crisis call center at one point in my career. Got an earful enough to last a lifetime. And trust me, while there may well be thousands of "high-class call girls" and "sly-boys" out there who "love" their job, there's easily ten times that many homeless, brutalized, blackmailed, and drug-addicted prostitutes on the payroll of your average "procurer" or "madam."

It's an ugly business. Until you see up close how it actually operates, you have no idea just how ugly it can be.

All of which are directly caused by shunning things into the shadows and making them naughty/illegal/wrong.

Legal and regulated properly would leave far less casualties.

wraith808

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2012, 02:08:21 PM »
Legal and regulated properly would leave far less casualties.

True... but who regulates?  Haven't they already done so by fiat?  It's just that no one wants to have the conversation, because it's a political hot potato, and being in the shadows makes it more so.  So in the meantime, I think the point about respect of commitment and others applies...

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Re: Outing the Internet's worst troll.
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2012, 02:53:40 PM »
Legal and regulated properly would leave far less casualties.

True... but who regulates?  Haven't they already done so by fiat?
LOL (Love that term) :Thmbsup: But I don't think the zero tolerance policy quite qualifies as a happy medium.

It's just that no one wants to have the conversation, because it's a political hot potato, and being in the shadows makes it more so.  So in the meantime, I think the point about respect of commitment and others applies...

There lying the crux of the problem ... Nothing good ever happens in a dark alley. But get a thing out into the light of a proper business environment, and things just tend to be a tad bit safer. Ya know?

Regulating based on morality is just silly...and dangerous. You're not stopping anything from happening ... You're just preventing people from getting paid for their "efforts" (e.g. prostitution does not equal or cause infidelity).