Netflix’s new true-crime documentary mini-series, “The Most Hated Man on the Internet,” deals with a shocking tale of internet crime and the sheer insolence of the perpetrator involved in it. Following the story of a mother who initially fought against her daughter’s intimate images being put up on a public website, the series uncovers the man who was behind it all, Hunter Moore. Although there is nothing cinematically worthwhile to watch in “The Most Hated Man on the Internet,” the case that it deals with and its ultimate outcome do make it an interesting and educative watch.
Mature Content Warning
What Is The Documentary Series ‘The Most Hated Man On The Internet’ About?
It all began in 2012 when a 24-year-old woman named Kayla Laws suddenly found an intimate photo of herself put up on a public website accessible to anyone on the internet. Kayla was auditioning for acting roles and working part-time as a waitress at the time when one of her coworkers told her about this website and her exposed photo on it. Terribly shocked to see herself exposed in front of the whole world, Kayla quickly called her closest friend, her mother, Charlotte, and told her about it. Charlotte went on to this website, called IsAnyoneUp, which hosted innumerable explicit pictures of women, each of which had terrible misogynistic and abusive comments made by normal users of the site. It gradually became clear to Charlotte that most of these photographs, which also sometimes were of men, had been submitted to the website without the consent or even the knowledge of those seen in them, much like the case of her own daughter. She quickly came across the creator of this website, a man called Hunter Moore, who was very publicly loved and appreciated in the comments section of the portal. Kayla had been very open to her mother about the fact that the images of her uploaded to the site were ones she had taken on her own, inside her own bedroom, and that she had never sent them to anybody else ever. On the other hand, the “IsAnyoneUp” website, and its creator, claimed itself to be only a platform that allowed a space where people could upload explicit pictures of their ex-partners, for whatever reasons, onto the site without any repercussions on them.
How then did Kayla’s photos reach the website was Charlotte’s question, and she soon figured out that her daughter must have been hacked. It was indeed true that Kayla had recently lost all access to her email and cloud storage accounts, as the password seemed to have changed, and she could only log back into it by changing the password. Charlotte spotted an option on “IsAnyoneUp” that claimed that anyone could request their photo be removed, and she tried contacting Hunter via email. Although she did initially receive a reply that asked her to provide any documents proving that her daughter had been hacked, there was no further reply once she sent those proofs, and Kayla’s pictures remained on the site. As Hunter Moore kept growing in popularity among his fans and making public comments that demeaned women as mere playthings, Charlotte Laws kept her fight on, now trying to reach out to other victims.
How Did Charlotte And The Authorities Finally Get To Hunter Moore?
Charlotte and Kayla had initially tried talking to the police authorities seeking help with the matter, but could find no assistance at all, as the police officers they spoke to only moralistically asked Kayla why she would take such pictures on her phone if she did not want them on the internet. Charlotte then bravely contacted the FBI over the issue, who promised to look into it, but only after some time. Knowing that her daughter needed immediate help, Charlotte herself looked more into the website and contacted the other victims she could reach out to. What made her job quite easy in this case was also what made “IsAnyoneUp” quite unique and absolutely horrible—not only did it post explicit pictures of unknown women, but it would also often tag their social media profiles in these posts, making the women themselves publicly available for disgusting men to harass online. From her conversations with the other victims, some of whom did not even know that their private photographs had been put up on a public website, Charlotte learned that Hunter Moore enjoyed causing mental harm to these women and would often tease his fans with descriptions of his next victim before putting up the photos. The website targeted women from all professions and ages, and the photos were mostly put up by anonymous users who seemed to share the same perspective as Hunter. Going by the accounts of other victims presented in the docu-series, Hunter would sometimes use the reputation and safety of a woman’s children to make her commit heinous acts to earn views, and therefore money, for himself on his website. Whenever asked about his role in something so horrible, in radio podcasts and YouTube video interviews, Hunter would first keep on with his usual brash and braggish tone, saying that all this was too much fun for him to stop, and then would claim that he was only providing a platform and the real guilt should be felt by those uploading the pictures. Gradually, from the beginning of the website to this time in 2012, the man had gained a lot of followers who appreciated his work, who were ready to do any sort of heinous act to protect him, even kill, and who would themselves do unimaginable things on video (like beating unsuspecting men on the road or shoving burning firecrackers down their own posterior) to be put up on the website. This group of followers, calling themselves the Family, now directly sent a threatening fax to Charlotte’s house, which her husband Charles found. Charles, who was an attorney by profession, had initially wanted to stay out of the matter as he admittedly understood very little of the internet, but now decided to take some action. He directly contacted Hunter Moore’s lawyer, whose contact had also been made very public by the arrogant Hunter, and asked him to get Kayla’s pictures removed or else face a lawsuit. Within a few hours, Kayla’s photos were taken down from the site. However, Charlotte decided to keep going with the case and try to get justice for the other victims, even though her daughter and husband wanted her to drop the matter.
On the basis of the information she gathered from forty women who were all Hunter’s victims, Charlotte made out that many of them had probably been hacked as they had lost access to their emails before their images had been uploaded, and they also claimed to have never sent these images to anybody online. After being dismissed by some journalists and reporters, Charlotte put up a blog of her own in which she presented all this information, but this too was quickly hacked into and put down. She then finally managed to get in touch with a journalist named Camille Dodero, who had written an article on Hunter Moore, much like many other journalists at the time, as Hunter was slowly making an infamous name for himself in popular culture. Such was his growing influence that the man was even called on the Anderson Cooper show, a talk show that brought two women victims face to face with Hunter. The offender denied any guilt or remorse here, too, saying that he did not know any of the women personally, which therefore made his work easier; he tried to course the narrative to him only making use of people desperate enough to take explicit pictures of themselves and exchanging them over the internet; and then finally to his age-old defense—that he was only the one hosting a website and not the one uploading these pictures. This very public light on Hunter swiftly brought the other side of the matter into the discussion as well—how this man was making use of women to earn his bucks, and how a bunch of perversely sick followers kept fanning his ego. This show also brought Moore to the attention of two prominent sides that ultimately became his reasons for undoing. First, of course, was the FBI, particularly an agent named Jeff Kirkpatrick, who was appalled by the man’s actions and open public claims about how he was proud of his work and instantly started looking into the matter. He was informed about Charlotte Laws and the official complaint she had made, and he visited her house with his team. Together they found substantial evidence that Kayla’s private cloud storage was most definitely hacked into, and her private pictures were stolen from there, as her email account now had an alternate account listed (meaning that this alternate account user could enter Kayla’s account any time from now on) that she had no idea about. The FBI soon turned this case into a priority, as the “IsAnyoneUp” website was still very much active, with hundreds of stolen pictures being uploaded every day, and they knew that although adult entertainment acts of this kind were not illegal, the hacking angle would be the one to pursue. With the help of other victims, they started building a case on it, as the same alternate email account had been listed on all the victims’ emails after they had been hacked into. A US attorney was also hired into the case who kept investigating the legal side of the matter, and together they set out to find out whether this hacker was Hunter himself. Although they realized that the hacker, who used the name Gary Jones, was actually someone called Charles Evens, the FBI was determined to establish a connection between this Evens and Moore. They were indeed able to find a clear connection between the two men, as it was noticed that every time a big batch of photographs were uploaded to the website, Charles Evens would receive money from Hunter Moore. With the case growing stronger, the FBI raided Hunter’s house and seized hard drives and laptops, and although the man claimed to know Charles Evens, he denied any professional association with him.
The second individual who took an immediate and vengeful interest in Hunter Moore was a man named James McGibney. Having once served in the US Marines, McGibney now worked privately on cybersecurity and had also started a website called BullyVille, on which he publicly exposed and called out bullies and exploiters of all kinds. The man, as he says in “The Most Hated Man on the Internet,” had a childhood filled with experiences of being bullied, and had grown up to try and stand up against such acts, especially on the internet. As Hunter Moore was self-admittedly a big bully to all the women and men he harassed on his website, McGibney decided to take him down in an indirect manner. He started talking to the perpetrator and realized that he was actually in need of money, as opposed to what his flashy lifestyle on social media showed, and started expressing his desire to buy IsAnyoneUp from Moore. With the FBI now after him, as was obvious from their raid of his house, McGibney used this moment of vulnerability to make a low-priced offer to Hunter, which he agreed to. After successfully buying the domain, McGibney deleted the adult website and redirected all the traffic to his own anti-bullying BullyVille site. As part of the deal, he had also apparently asked Hunter to issue a public apology to all the women he had harassed, which Hunter obviously denied and instead tweeted rape threats to McGibney’s wife and called the man a pedophile. This, and Hunter’s growing notoriety, very quickly attracted a bigger threat to him, the popular hacker activist group Anonymous. Within hours, Anonymous wiped out all the archive and data that Hunter had gathered at “IsAnyoneUp,” took down all his servers, wiped off his social security number, hacked into his bank accounts and allegedly donated all the money to women’s abuse shelters all across the USA, made sure that he could not flee the country by deactivating his passport, and finally topped it off by ordering large quantities of adult toys to his personal house address. Anonymous also forged official documents of Hunter’s death in the state of California, and according to official records, the man funnily stayed dead for a month till it was finally fixed by the authorities. Hunter had earlier claimed that he was working on a second IsAnyoneUp website, one that would also include maps and directions to the women’s houses, along with their explicit photographs, and Anonymous quickly shattered all such plans of his. By this time, the FBI had also found hard evidence against the man, as emails between him and Charles Evens clearly suggested that Hunter was paying the hacker weekly to hack into random women’s email accounts and cloud storage accounts and leak out explicit photos of them. Finally, in 2014, the FBI arrested Hunter Moore and Charles Evens on charges of conspiracy, unauthorized access to personal computer accounts, and aggravated identity theft.
‘The Most Hated Man On The Internet’ Ending Explained: What Was The Outcome Of Hunter Moore’s Case? Where Is Hunter Moore Now?
After the arrest, news of this instantly spread throughout TV news shows as the man had now gained incredible notoriety for posting illicit adult content and using them as a means of retaliation. His parents bailed him out with a $100,000 bond, and Hunter now left the police station, hiding his face with his jacket and a remarkably shut mouth. In 2015, he pled guilty to the charges and later that year was sentenced to thirty months in prison for his unlawful hacking conspiracy to get hold of adult pictures for his website. The man served his time in jail and has been released since 2017.
As abhorrent and disgusting as the case might be, there is still no federal law against intimate image abuse, in the USA, and Hunter Moore is now a free man. As a random user rightly summed up on Twitter, Hunter Moore is a sorry excuse and an absolute waste as a human being. It also really personally seems harsh that a man who put hundreds of women through tremendous mental and social harassment, a man who would laugh at women pleading with him to remove their pictures from his website, a man who would reply “LOL” at women’s messages saying that they wished to kill themselves after being explicitly presented on the internet, only spent two and a half years in prison. Unfortunately, in this context, Hunter Moore has already served time for his crimes, which he continues to use as a defense whenever his past actions are called into question. All his recent interviews and podcasts that are readily available on the internet make it clear that the man still shows no actual remorse or guilt for his actions and instead treats them only as a thing of the past. Some of his followers still try to justify his actions on the internet, wishing through comments that they could get back such an insensitive website once again. Although his Facebook and Twitter accounts had been seized and deleted by authorities at the time, Hunter Moore seems to have returned to Twitter and Instagram at least. Let’s see if “The Most Hated Man on the Internet” generates some well-deserved internet love (obviously, I mean hatred) for the pathetic individual.
“The Most Hated Man on the Internet” is a 2022 Documentary Limited Series streaming on Netflix.