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How revenge-porn creator Hunter Moore became ‘the most hated man on the internet’

Hunter Moore. Picture: Netflix

Hunter Moore. Picture: Netflix

Published Jul 29, 2022

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On the back of “The Tinder Swindler”, Netflix returns with another compelling documentary, “The Most Hated Man on the Internet”.

I must confess, I was most intrigued by the title. And when I started watching it, I understood it better.

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This 3-part series is told from the point of view of Charlotte Laws, a revenge-porn activist who took on Hunter Moore, the mastermind behind the revenge-porn website, “Is Anyone Up?”

It was circa 2010 – 2012, a time when the internet was starting to get traction, mobile phones were becoming the rage as the proliferation of social media accounts continued with images and personal information making their way onto the web.

Moore was a sort of celebrity influencer.

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He was popular for his rock ‘n roll kind of lifestyle. He loved to party, do drugs and have sex with random women. His misogynistic attitude, while repulsive, ironically made him more attractive to groupies.

And his website made him feel invincible with him attracting a sort of cult Marilyn Manson-esque following.

Interestingly, Moore agreed to be part of the documentary but he later pulled out.

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In one of her interviews, producer Vikki Miller admitted: “When Hunter pulled out, I was initially disappointed but then I completely changed my mind and am so glad we ended up telling it through Charlotte Laws’ narrative.”

Charlotte Laws. Picture: Netflix

The documentary opens with Kayla Laws, an aspiring actress and part-time waitress, learning that she was up on this shady website.

When she looked, she realised a topless picture that she had taken in her room and saved onto her cloud had somehow made its way onto the website. But it wasn’t just that. It was linked to all her social media accounts.

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Visitors of the site were encouraged to trash-talk and slut-shame the victims. In fact, Hunter encouraged this despicable behaviour and he took great joy in doing so.

At the time, there were no laws against what Moore was doing. He literally got off from having people beg him to take their pictures down. He felt no guilt over the fact that he was ruining lives.

As far as he was concerned, he was providing a platform for people. Those people that posted pictures were to blame. He felt like, somehow, this absolved him, morally.

Of course, when he refused to pull Kayla’s pics down, Charlotte switched to Liam Neeson (“Taken”) mode – she was determined to do all it took to ensure that her daughter’s agony could come to an end.

Thankfully, Kalya’s stepdad Charles Parselle, a lawyer, eventually stepped in to help after wanting nothing to do with the situation.

Although he was able to bamboozle Hunter’s lawyer into getting him to take Kayla’s pictures down or face a hefty lawsuit, the other victims, male and female, weren’t so lucky.

James McGibney. Picture: Netflix

And Charlotte, after chatting to several of them (most of whom were hacked) and learning of their heartbreaking experience, felt that something needed to be done as Moore was ruining too many lives, with some victims having attempted suicide already.

She made as much noise as possible ringing up journalists, putting up a blog (which got hacked by one of his followers) to even approaching the FBI when the local law enforcement failed her.

Her tenacity eventually paid off when three FBI agents arrived at her doorstep.

As walls were closing in on Moore, he found his charm wearing thin when he was made accountable on a televised talk show as well as by the media.

His devil-may-care attitude coupled with his equally contemptible responses saw him fall out of favour on a platform he felt he ruled.

Amid Charlotte’s efforts, another concerned citizen James McGibney, horrified by the website, also decided to help. But he did so by friending Hunter as an investor and then mindf***ing with him.

Having been bullied since childhood, McGibney felt the pain of the victims and he wanted to take down this bully who operated with shocking impunity.

Overall, Moore got his comeuppance and served time. But I’m not sure someone as narcissistic as he would have learned from this experience.

Thankfully, many countries have revenge-porn laws in place to handle this, including South Africa, where in recent years it was becoming a serious problem.

“The Most Hated Man on the Internet” is streaming on Netflix.

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