The Internet can be used for various purposes but through the eyes of Hunter Moore it was a medium for something else entirely. For most of us the internet is a source of interaction through social media, information through various search engines and entertainment through video-sharing websites. Moore however had something else in mind.
In late 2010 Moore created a web domain by the name isanyoneup.com. The purpose of this website was to post exposing photographs of individuals (most often females) and was done without their consent. Though controversial, the website still managed to attract a wide audience as it was reported that millions of viewers visited the website on a monthly basis. Moore himself gained as the revenue from the website averaged $13,000 a month. For his actions Moore was dubbed with the title of the most hated man on the internet.
The Internet has become a part of our everyday lives. More so that access to it is even considered one of the basic and fundamental human rights. It is hence heartbreaking to know that such a basic necessity could have a darker side lurking around the corner. All the scandals and controversies on the internet are not unheard of. More so that an exponential growth in the rate with which they occur can also be seen. Moore’s example is just one of the many. What is more shocking than such unorthodox pictures being posted is the fact where some of these pictures were obtained from. Part of the website’s content was obtained through submission from other users and viewers but some of it was obtained by hacking into personal emails and stealing the photos. Moore apparently had an accomplice named Charles Evens with whose help he accomplished the feat of hacking into the emails. Through Moore’s eyes all of these actions were fully justified on the internet as he continued with his work despite backlash from many viewers mainly victims of the site.
Opponents of the website can rest easy knowing that Hunter Moore has been taken into custody but they might have a hard time grasping the fact that it wasn’t for managing such a controversial site. The charges faced by Moore and Evens include breaking into someone’s private files and taking content from it without the owner’s consent. However what about being responsible for running the website? According to section 230 of the Communications Decency Act the owner of a website cannot be held responsible for content submitted by other users. This was the case with majority of the pictures on the website as they were indeed submitted by different users and not by the owner himself. It is frightening to know that had Moore simply let users of the website do his work for him and not contributed to the content himself, his website would still have been up and running right now.
The world web may be a great tool if used wisely but also has potential for disaster. It is hence recommended that whoever uses the internet practice extreme caution as they might be very well walking into a trap. Hunter Moore’s perspective might not have been widely accepted but there have been many who happily accepted and lauded his idea. Gaining fame and fortune at the expense of someone else, such was the internet through the eyes of Hunter Moore.
By Hammad Ali