Netflix’s latest true crime documentary, The Most Hated Man on the Internet, explores how Hunter Moore and Charles Evans hacked into people’s accounts for intimate footage, before proceeding to upload it and other personal details in the now infamous “Anyone is awake?” place.
In addition to displaying private photos, social media handles, and the home addresses of his victims, Moore also encouraged his followers, known as The Family, to leave demeaning and damaging comments about the topics in the forum below. They would also submit their own revenge porn to the site, which Moore would then publish.
Despite being repeatedly asked to remove the photos, Moore continued to exploit people in their most vulnerable state and profit from it. His victims not only had their privacy and security compromised by his vile site, but many suffered with his mental health. One of the interviewees in the documentary, Cara, details how she made an attempt on her life as a result of the rape.
In fact, there are plenty of brave men and women featured in the three-part docuseries, who talk about their experiences with Moore and his rabid army of cyberstalkers. But it is Charlotte Laws, the mother of one of the victims, Kayla, who fought tirelessly not only for her own daughter, but for many other women (and men) attacked on the site.
In fact, even after Kayla’s stepfather (who is a legal professional) had her images removed from the site, her mother Charlotte continued her quest for justice. Having contacted several other victims, Charlotte was the one to gather crucial information about the hack to aid in the FBI investigation, which, since US federal law does not recognize revenge porn as a crime, was essential in bringing down to Moore.
Now, there are many lessons to be learned from The Most Hated Man on the Internet. It marks a dark and sinister era in Internet history that is far from over. We see the effects of revenge porn in its rawest state; the incessant blaming of the victims, the permanence of our digital footprints, and what can only be described as sheer hatred of women. It is an incredibly tough watch.
But it’s also a reminder that human decency exists. Charlotte could have easily given up on the ghost as soon as the images of her daughter were removed from the site. She could easily have turned a blind eye to the other women she had talked to. But she didn’t.
In the words of Albert Einstein: “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”
We all need to be a little more Charlotte Laws.
We all need to speak up when we see irregularities of any kind. We all need to make sure we are defending the underdog, especially when they are in no position to fight back. It is our moral duty not to sit idly by and allow evil to seep into the fabric of our society.
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Without people like Charlotte Laws, the world would be a really bleak place.