John Randall Meneses of Las Vegas has been identified as the creator of the now infamous subreddit on Reddit that helped spread the hundreds of leaked pictures and videos after they emerged earlier this month.
Meneses, 33, ran The Fappening subreddit, which focused primarily on posting links to the pictures as new ones came out.
Users on the forum also tried to determine the identity of women in pictures that lacked definitive identifying characteristics. Bar Refaeli and Hillary Duff are two women who were identified by some users as women in such pictures.
The Fappening was eventually banned by Reddit, with Meneses saying that he was unclear why the ban happened.
“While I didn’t intend for it to be the fastest growing sub in history, it was. I want to point out that our mod team worked their asses off to ensure that pics that violated reddit’s rules were removed,” he told fellow Reddit users.
“And we prevented the doxx of the ‘leaker’ as well. I know we aren’t going to be considered the good guys, but we worked hard to ensure reddit’s rules were followed.”
Meneses’ full name was published by the Daily Mail tabloid after previous stories referenced him without disclosing his full name, including one from the Washington Post that many Reddit users labeled as “a hit piece.”
Meneses told the Mail in response to inquiries: ‘If people want to call me a hero or a cyber warrior then I’m not going to stop them.”
“I’ve done nothing wrong,” he added.
His only regret is posting the pictures online under his own username and not an anonymous account.
Meneses said that he spent 40 hours over Labor Day weekend keeping watch over his subreddit, which appeared to mostly collect pictures from the notoriously degenerate 4chan. Menseses seemed to tell the Mail that he only shared links to websites that had already uploaded the pictures, such as Reddit’s image sharing website Imgur.
He says that the material on the subreddit racked up over 250 million pageviews before it was taken down.
“Memorable Labor Day weekend!” he told followers over Twitter after the pictures starting emerging online.
“I didn’t necessarily share the content with millions, I just created the sub-Reddit and tried to ride the wave. I only put up links to other posts that were doing well, I never uploaded a single thing and I never downloaded a single thing,” he said.
“That wasn’t why I created The Fappening, I created it because I liked the name and I wrote out what happened, but if people want to call me a hero or cyber warrior then I’m not going to stop them.”
He emphasized that he followed Reddit’s rules and that since he didn’t do any of the hacking he cannot be prosecuted by federal authorities, who are investigating the hack.
And Meneses took the opportunity to say that the hacking was wrong.
“The actual hackers are going to go to jail, there’s no doubt about that, and they deserve to go to jail,” he said.
“But as for the rest of the internet finding these pictures and posting them – it’s already out there.”
“Celebrities have to understand that there is a certain demand for these type of photographs and they probably shouldn’t have trusted iCloud with their personal photos, but that’s an issue for them and iCloud.”