Directed by Rob Miller, the series tracks the rise and fall of Hunter Moore
Last Updated: 09.19 AM, Jul 28, 2022
Story: In 2010, Hunter Moore launched Is Anyone Up?, the first ever revenge porn website. It attracted thousands of page views daily and made Moore a sensation on social media. However, when 24-year-old Kayla Laws’ topless picture was uploaded onto the site without her knowledge, her mother, Charlotte Laws, decided to fight back.
Review: The latest Netflix true-crime series The Most Hated Man on the Internet is centred on Hunter Moore, the self-proclaimed “professional life ruiner” who gained notoriety for being the founder of Is Anyone Up?, a revenge porn website. The website allowed users to anonymously post explicit pictures of people, mostly former partners and women, without their permission. Through interviews with victims, journalists, lawyers, and law enforcement officers, the docuseries delves deep into what the website was about, its impact on the lives of its victims, and, most importantly, a mother’s fight to bring Moore to justice.
When Moore launched Is Anyone Up? in the 2010s, he amassed a cult-like following who would humiliate, belittle and pass vile comments on people whose explicit photos were posted on the website. Users would upload nude photos of anyone and everyone with links to their social media accounts. This meant that the private lives, residence addresses, and even phone numbers of the victims were on full display and easily accessible. Repeated pleas by victims asking to take down the pictures were disregarded and laughed off. This exposed the cruel and dark side of the internet that has the power to ruin anyone’s life just with a few pictures. And Moore enjoyed the notoriety and money that came with the popularity of his website until one woman decided to take him down.
Although the docuseries is primarily about Moore and his acts of depravity, it is also about Charlotte Laws who decided to take on Moore and make him regret his actions. Laws first learned about the website in 2012 when her daughter Kayla’s topless picture was uploaded without her consent. Though the photo was taken down within weeks, Charlotte launched an investigation against Moore, and in the process discovered that a majority of the photos on the site had been hacked. She contacted other victims, journalists and the FBI to present the victims’ side of the story. Her efforts showed results three years later.
The docuseries, directed by Rob Miller and produced by Raw TV, showcases Moore as the bad guy from the very beginning and compels one to empathise with the victims. The testimonials of the victims, journalists, and officers are weaved together brilliantly, presenting an engaging narrative. The screenplay also focuses on Charlotte’s struggles, the threats she received from Moore and his followers, and the victim shaming that often came after one’s nude photos showed up on the internet. In fact, when Kayla first went to the cops to file a complaint, a police officer asked her, “Why would you take a picture like that if you didn’t want it on the internet?” What’s disturbing is that victim-blaming has become more pronounced these days.
The docuseries also portrays Moore as a person without empathy and remorse. He is frequently shown saying that he is only providing people with a platform to post pictures and that those who were uploading such videos and photos were the “bad” people. However, the screenplay does not delve much into his background. We do not know what prompted him to create the website or what his real motive was. This bogs down the series to an extent. Whereas, viewers get a glimpse of Charlotte’s past who was known under the stage name Missy Laws.
Verdict: Despite its flaws, The Most Hated Man on the Internet manages to present disturbing facts engagingly as it chronicles the life of one of the internet's most notorious individuals.