The digital activists Anonymous have targeted Hunter Moore the “revenge pornographer”. Moore operated the infamous website IsAnyoneUp.com which posted pornographic photos of people without their permission and with their social networking addresses.
This lucrative venture grossed US$20K per month, until the headaches became too great and he sold the site for a “nominal fee” to an anti-bullying non-profit. Recently, in an apparently drunk interview with BetaBeat Moore promised to build a new social networking site – which he claims has over 1000 submissions, where those posting are asked to include address information about the pornographic photos subjects. Again without the permission of the people in the image. This is to enable stalking. When asked about the problems this might cause with bullying or stalking on his old site Hunter Moore replied.
“If somebody killed themselves over being on the site do you know how much money I’d make? At the end of the day, I do not want anybody to hurt themselves. But if they do? Thank you for the money.
So it is clear we are not dealing with a charmer here. Moore later recanted his claim that he was including addresses in the new site stating that he was drunk. But as with so many things on the internet – he let the genie out of the bottle.
So in steps Anonymous, which is a self appointed defender of bullied people on the internet. Anonymous is unconcerned about Moore’s changed story, saying he must be held accountable for his actions. During its short “call to action” video, Anonymous unspecifically threatens Moore.
Asked if he was worried, Hunter responded:
“It’s anonymous to me. I don’t know the people – it’s just a little picture on a screen,” he told the BBC in an interview in April.
Were i him, i would be concerned. Perhaps he has not heard of Anonymous, more likely his ego is such that expressing fear is unbecoming of him. But one would be wise to by a life insurance policy on Mr Moore. Do i really think Anonymous is likely to kill him? No not really, but i certainly think if you bought it quickly enough the actuarial tables for Mr Moore are likely to be quite off, and thus it would be a a good bet.
Moore claims to have “nerds on nerds” protecting his servers around the world, for certainly Anonymous will try to shut down his new internet sites. But just like this user submitted revenge porn hustler benefits if bad things happen to his targets, so does Anonymous. If Anonymous can take out FBI.gov and visa.com they can probably take out Mr Moore’s sites.
Or can they? The Anonymous video i link to about have fewer than 100 hits on it on YouTube. Anyone could have posted (or re-posted) it who had a smartphone and a Guy Fawkes mask. This is the deal with digital vigilante justice. In the past one month Anonymous has declared war on Israel (of Gaza bombings), on Syria (for hitting the Internet Kill switch) and Lady Gaga (celebrating Guy Fawkes day – later Anonymous denied these attacks and cited attacking PayPal.com instead).
Why i dont wish Moore dead, i am confident the world would be a better place without Hunter Moore. More importantly, a strike against this especially vile internet personality would send a powerful message to other who hope to profit from the suffering and violations of others. There are some odd sheriffs in the new wild, wild west of the internet.