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Nov 29 2013

Everyday sadism

Another chapter in the annals of harassment, especially harassment of women. A guy called Hunter Moore posted a photo of a young woman that had been hacked from her computer on his Revenge Porn website. Her mother had worked as a private detective, and she got on his case.

I emailed the site owner, Hunter Moore, and asked him to take down the photo in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. He refused.

I was not surprised. By this time, I’d perused Moore’s online TV and newspaper interviews. He called himself a “professional life ruiner” and described his website as “pure evil.” He threw legal letters in the trash, addressed his followers as “my children,” taking a page from the Charles Manson handbook; and regularly taunted victims, encouraging them to commit suicide. People claimed to be afraid of him. He had no fear of lawsuits; he knew a victim would be unlikely to sue because a civil suit would cost $60,000 (according to attorney Marc Randazza), and forever link a woman’s name with the image she hoped to hide.

Moore maintained that his victims were sluts, asked to be abused and deserved to lose their jobs, embarrass their families and find themselves forever ruined. Below photos on the site, his followers posted crude and mysogynistic remarks. Victims were taunted as “fat cows,” “creatures with nasty teeth,” “ugly whores,” “white trash sluts” and “whales.” One commenter said, “Jesus, someone call Greenpeace and get her back in the water.” The website was not about pornography; it was about ridiculing and hurting others.

Sound familiar?

Jill was a kindergarten teacher in Kansas. I knew she was going to be posted. Moore had mentioned it on his Twitter feed — which I had been monitoring — and he asked his followers if they thought she’d get fired. They had responded with the typical landslide of loutish and smutty comments.

An hour later, her photos were visible to the world along with identifying information, including the name of the school where she taught. This was the cue for followers of Is Anyone Up? to bombard the principal and school board with Jill’s naked shots and crude remarks, such as “Fire that slut” and “You have a whore teaching your children.”

“Is Jill there?” I said to the school receptionist. “She’s in class right now.”

“I’d like to leave a message. This is urgent. Please tell her to call me when she gets time.”

While I was leaving my message, the principal had marched into Jill’s classroom and interrupted her lesson.

“Please gather your things and go home,” he said while five-year-old students watched in wonder.

Score. Just like that, some random guy and his random fans can trash a woman’s life.

12 comments

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  1. 1
    Schlumbumbi

    Eh ? That website has been put out of existence by its founder looooooooong ago.

  2. 2
    Hank_Says

    No word, I presume, on the fate (if any) of the other person/s in the photos, or the photographer, or whoever it was that stole them.

    It’s an amazing feature/bug of the mind that people who are such fans of sex – especially pornography – can be so simultaneously hateful toward people who enjoy it on a similar level. Such a Puritan attitude is especially appropriate at this time of year.

  3. 3
    oolon

    @hankstar, the whole thing is worth a read. Ophelia did you forget to add a link? I assume it was this one ->
    http://www.xojane.com/it-happened-to-me/charlotte-laws-hunter-moore-erin-brockovich-revenge-porn

  4. 4
    Hank_Says

    You’re right oolon. That was completely badass.

  5. 5
    Ophelia Benson

    Oops. Yes I forgot. I saw it on Jezebel though.

  6. 6
    Ophelia Benson

    @ 1 – not all that “looooooooooooong” ago, and anyway so what? The damage is still done.

  7. 7
    carlie

    That website has been put out of existence by its founder looooooooong ago.

    And you don’t think that woman who fought back had anything to do with it?

  8. 8
    Hank_Says

    Don’t mind Schlumbumbi. That commenter has a long history of obtuseness, such that I wonder why they even come here.

  9. 9
    Marcus Ranum

    That website has been put out of existence by its founder looooooooong ago.

    …. So that somehow makes it OK?

  10. 10
    rebeccahensler

    An extraordinary story by an amazing woman. So worth reading the whole thing.

  11. 11
    Sili

    While I was leaving my message, the principal had marched into Jill’s classroom and interrupted her lesson.

    “Please gather your things and go home,” he said while five-year-old students watched in wonder.

    How is this not wrongful termination?

  12. 12
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    Who fucking cares if it went out “loooooong ago”? It’s still fucking sick, disgusting, and horrible. I don’t understand how the fuckhead who owned the site isn’t in jail. He’s ruined people’s fucking lives.

    Asshole.

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