What is the story with IsAnyoneUp.com?

Posted by Sameer Hinduja on December 12, 2011

One of the Internet’s latest privacy controversies surrounds the rapidly-growing web site Isanyoneup.com.  The site, which launched in late 2010, is essentially a hybrid of social media and amateur pornography – described by some media outlets as a blog for “Revenge Porn.” The blog features thousands of posts containing extremely explicit photos of naked men and women, submitted by the site’s users.  While self-submit pornography sites aren’t all that uncommon, the real difference with Isanyoneup.com – and the true reason for the firestorm it has caused – is that the majority of the pictures on the site are not submitted by the people in those pictures. Instead, the site serves its purpose as a forum where jilted exes and revenge-seekers may share the most intimate photos of those towards whom they wish to retaliate (perhaps another variant of cyberbullying?). As if that was not enough, the blog has developed over time to include screenshots of the Facebook profiles and Twitter feeds of the people featured on the site.

 

Interestingly, the site was initially meant to be something much more innocuous. Hunter Moore, the site’s owner, registered the domain to serve as a would-be nightlife and traveling portal. However, Moore grew complacent and the project failed to launch – and its current iteration began one night with Moore attempting and failing to send explicit photos of a woman to one of his friends, and then being inspired to upload the photos to his then-dormant web site. The site soon became a private place for Moore and his friends to add and share similar photos of various women, until eventually a member of a popular online message board stumbled upon the site and began linking it to others (which of course resulted in an explosion of web traffic). The site’s popularity was further fueled when Moore got the idea to include explicit photographs of popular band members, create a Twitter and Facebook page for the site, and feature gimmicks such as the “daily gnargoyle” – posts which feature particularly unattractive self-submitted photos.

 

As if a site of this nature does not attract enough controversy, the site’s operator seems to relish in all the negative attention he and his site obtains. Moore routinely posts Facebook messages and screenshots of the Twitter responses from people lambasting him for his actions on his website. Recently Moore was featured on Forbes, in articles in Gawker and the LA Times, and even was in a segment on Anderson Cooper’s day-time talk show “Anderson” where he was confronted by two of the women who were featured on his site. In the latter interview, Moore expressed no remorse over his actions and stated that he enjoys what he does as he gets to profit from “seeing naked girls all day.” Additionally, Moore has been threatened with countless lawsuits – which he frequently makes fun of on his site and Twitter feed – and in one case Moore was even stabbed outside of his San Francisco home by a woman who had been featured on the site without her permission. Moore proudly uploaded a picture of his stab wound – and now does not allow submissions of people who live in his hometown of San Francisco anymore.

 

Despite the site being horrifically repulsive on several levels, Isanyone.com has managed to build a substantial and loyal fan base, with much of that popularity likely being the result of Moore and his controversies. On December 8th, Facebook sent Hunter Moore and Isanyoneup.com a Cease and Desist letter demanding that all relevant Facebook content be removed from the site. Facebook went further by permanently banning Moore, his web site, and anyone acting on his behalf from accessing Facebook. Moore no longer has the ability to link Facebook profiles to his blog posts, but continues to post screenshots of the Facebook profiles of the people he features on his site. In consistently controversial fashion, Moore has alleged he replied to Facebook’s Cease and Desist request with a picture of his genitalia.

 

As Facebook’s actions indicate, Isanyoneup.com has garnered a fair amount of legal attention. Moore claims he is threatened with lawsuits every day, but to date none have actually been filed in a court.  As Kashmir Hill of Forbes has speculated, Moore may have been able to avoid legal ramifications thus far due to the Communications Decency Act of 1996. The relevant part of this Act is section 230, which protects site owners and ISPs from the content that is provided by their users. For instance, if a Facebook user makes a discriminatory wall post on the site, Facebook generally cannot be held liable. As far as Isanyoneup.con and Hunter Moore are concerned, they have thus far avoided liability because the problematic content on the site is uploaded by his users via a submission form.

 

All of this is not to say that users are unable to protect themselves. As Hunter Moore himself has argued, the best way to defend yourself from ending up on Isanyoneup.com is not to take such explicit photos in the first place. While that may be ideal, in reality people are apt to make mistakes, and as such those featured on Isanyoneup.com have a couple forms of recourse. First, victims of the site are able to submit copyright takedown requests as long as they were the original owners of the photograph. One would qualify as an original owner as long as they took the picture himself or herself. For example, if a young woman took an explicit photo and forwarded it to someone who then uploaded the photo on Isanyoneup.com without her permission, the young woman could submit a copyright claim to the site, forcing the site to remove the picture or allowing the woman to file a copyright claim suit. Second, the Isanyoneup.com web site also includes a ‘Contact’ tab which allows those featured on the site to simply ask to be removed. There is no guarantee that this will actually result in the relevant photographs being removed, however, as some people have claimed in interviews that their removal requests have gone repeatedly ignored by Moore.

 

Outside of the aforementioned copyright claims, adults have little other recourse if they end up being featured on the site. Fortunately, minors are given much more consideration by Isanyoneup.com and Hunter Moore than adults are. An LA Times piece on Moore claims that his site goes to great lengths to protect minors, and all signs seem to point to this being true. Submissions to Isanyoneup.com are sent to a separate cloud server where a sample blog post is automatically generated but not actually posted online, where it is then investigated by Moore or one of his volunteers. Moore claims background checks are then performed on all subjects to determine whether they may be minors, as all submissions include Facebook profiles for which they can be cross-referenced. The site itself posts strict and clear warnings about underage content, and claims to forward the personal information of those that submit child pornography to the relevant authorities. In true Isanyoneup.com fashion, the submission page of the site includes a Facebook profile screenshot – including all of the personal information – of a man who submitted underage content to Isanyoneup.com.

 

Despite the obvious problems that the readers of our blog will have with Isanyoneup.com, the site is – from what we can tell – on solid legal footing. Moore and his site are not actually violating any laws as all content featured on the site is submitting by its users, the site responds to formal copyright claims by removing copyrighted photographs, and it protects itself from liability by storing initial submissions on separate servers and weeding out child pornography. For those that wish to avoid becoming just another featured blog post on Isanyoneup.com, Hunter Moore himself said it best: don’t take the photographs to begin with, and certainly don’t put them into the hands of people you can’t entirely trust.

 

Related readings:

 

A great piece by The Awl.com on Hunter Moore and his web site:
http://www.theawl.com/2011/11/the-man-who-makes-money-publishing-your-nude-pics

 

A few Forbes articles on Hunter Moore and Isanyoneup.com:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2011/07/06/revenge-porn-with-a-facebook-twist/

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2011/11/22/how-hunter-moore-could-get-into-legal-trouble-for-the-revenge-porn-on-isanyoneup/

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2011/12/09/facebook-goes-after-porn-site-that-features-its-users-profiles/

 

Los Angeles Times piece on Hunter Moore on the band members exposed on his site:
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/dec/04/entertainment/la-ca-pop-nudes-20111204

 

Gawker “Facebook Declares War on Sleazy Revenge Porn Site”:
http://gawker.com/5866506/

 

Two short clips from Hunter Moore on Anderson Cooper’s show:                http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/64582249.html

 

 

25 Responses to “What is the story with IsAnyoneUp.com?”

  1. Jon says:

    That website is an utter embarrassment. Why someone would get pleasure from causing someone else such humiliation is beyond me. Unfortunately, nothing legally can be done to stop that site and sites like it from popping up online.

  2. [...] = [];}In the Cyberbullying Research Center blog, professor and cyberbullying researcher Sameer Hinduja took the time to alert readers to the latest representation of the Net’s darkside: [...]

  3. Gina says:

    Wow! That is the second sickest website I have seen outside of Topix.

  4. What is the story with IsAnyoneUp.com? says:

    [...] MORE  >>> Posted by Mike Tully Cyberbullying, Speech Subscribe to RSS feed [...]

  5. Gina, Va says:

    #NBHNC

  6. Evan says:

    Stop whining about it. It's all legal. You can't do anything about it, so stop being embarrassed about being exposed for being a slut. Maybe if everyone stopped being uptight little crybabies, Hunter would get the recognition he deserves. #NBHNC

    • Unreal says:

      So you're implying that if my spouse and I had a few personal videos and someone else got their hands on those videos and submitted them to this site, that would make us "sluts"? The point is that if a naked picture of YOU, Evan, ended up online, YOU should have the ability to have it removed regardless of how it got there, who took it, etc. What if you saw a picture of your daughter, mother or sister on that site? Would you call them "sluts" and tell them to stop being "uptight little crybabies"?

      • Evan says:

        Yes, I would. If there was a naked picture of myself on the internet, I'd tell people about it. I'm not a hypocrite. If you don't want people to see you naked, then why take the picture? Why make "personal videos" (porn) with your spouse? Does that get you off? Does it make you happy? You should think about what you're trying to say. "Derr, I wanted to take naked pictures of myself, and he said he wouldn't show nobodiez. But, den, he showed peoplez. It made me feel bad." Only sick perverts make "personal videos" for truly personal use. Odds are, one of the two wanted to show someone. If you don't believe me, then you don't know people very well. Your argument is poorly thought out, redundant, and quite frankly, ignorant. Maybe if people weren't so insecure, they wouldn't get all worked up about being naked.

        • Unreal says:

          "If you don't want people to see you naked, then why take the picture?"…um, there's this thing called privacy…something that we're all entitled to. If you choose to give yours up and "tell people about it", that would be your choice which you are free to make. In the same way, if I DON'T want to share images of myself with every eye on the internet, that should be my choice, not Hunter Moore's or his audience.

          • Evan says:

            When you send that naked picture of yourself, that choice isn't yours to make anymore. It's the recipient's to do with as they please. If they choose to send it to IAU, legally, that's their choice to make.

          • Unreal says:

            Agreed! BUT you're making the assumption that every person on that site actually SENT these images to people they shouldn't have trusted. Do you really think that every person who ever ended up on that site or anyone who WILL end up on that site submitted said imagery to someone the couldn't trust? You don't think it's possible for me to go in the other room and log onto my roommates computer while they're at work and quickly upload their picture to that website? Or scan an image that I found tucked away in a closet while house-sitting for my neighbor and submit it?

          • Evan says:

            I see what you're saying, but you still aren't getting the point here. If you don't want people to see you naked, then don't take naked pictures of yourself. Derp.

          • Chris says:

            Evan. it's not legal. If someone takes a pic of themselves they by law own the copyright. If they then send it to their BF/GF or anyone else for their use only the BF/GF/other person receiving it has limit rights for personal use only and no legal right to pass that pic onto anyone else, they cannot display it for anyone else or upload it to the internet. Just because someone sends a nude pic of video to someone they love does not mean they want or give consent for it to be shown to anyone else in any other form or distributed to others.
            People have the right to take photos or record video of themselves for the sole intent of private use and unless they give consent no-one by law is allowed to distribute that media in anyway.
            Your argument is full of holes, shows your immaturity, utter BS and shows how little you know about copyright and privacy laws. Don't believe me. Try uploading a picture taken by a professional photographer or model without their consent and see what happens when they find out.

          • Unreal says:

            Evan, since you're not a "hypocrite" and you stand so firmly behind everything you say and you clearly don't care about privacy, would you please go ahead and tell us all what your full name is so we can all know the man who so proudly supports Hunter Moore? While you're at it, post a link to your Facebook, Twitter and other social pages. Also, when you have a chance, tell us who you work for so we can be sure to pass this open, non-hypocritical spirit to them too. And if you don't mind, please also post your email address as well as any websites that you may have. Show the world how non-hypocritical you are Evan.

  7. Evan Bosely says:

    I'm not even sure you understand what the word hypocrite means, but you can follow me on twitter if you want to I suppose.
    twitter.com/foodofloveYDG
    myyearbook.com/scottysmiles
    No job. I'm a kid. Good luck with whatever point you hoped to prove, though. Let me know how that works out for you.

    • Unreal says:

      Ah…you're a kid. Then might I give you a few words of advice, Evan: never post your information online; you never know when it's going to come back and kick you where it hurts. Happy Holidays kid.

      • Evan says:

        Lol. Is that a threat on a cyber-bullying website? You DO know what hypocrite means! XD Thanks, but I'll take my advice from some who isn't a narcissist that employs the age-old tact of empty threats. Good job though, you really showed me, huh? Witty punchline and all. I don't even know what I'm gonna do about this. I'm just so hurt. LOL. Have fun trying to get anything interesting from my pages.
        #NBHNC

  8. Thinklogically says:

    It’s actually quite simple; if you take nude photographs, attach your personal metadata to the file prior to sending the image ANYWHERE, regardless of who the intended audience is. If these images/files contained copyright information, they could not be posted. Yes, it’s an invasion of privacy, but the risk of taking nude photographs in the digital age have been WELL advertised and any adult failing to take precautionary measures has nobody but themselves to blame when they face repurcutions. Any UNCOPYRIGHTED digital media is free for public use, if you have a problem, talk to lawmakers.

  9. grind_that_axe9009 says:

    great web site! keep up the good work! Dont take it down, keep it up!

  10. Jasmine justice says:

    I want to stop cyberbullying but i cantand you can help stop cyberbullying all together.

  11. victim says:

    Yeah, it’s all fun and games until you yourself get posted. First you are in shock. Then you become totally and utterly depressed. You love the site and agree with it and get a laugh out of it until some bastard posts you and then you fucking hate it. I already had emotional problems to begin with and yeah seems like there’s no way to get em down and it does suck cause all you do is google your name and it pops up. Copyright or not shit’s not getting done. People make mistakes and they drink and do stupid shit when they are drunk.
    And just because someone gets posted doesn’t mean that they send nudes all the time. It could have been the first time for them because they were naive and believed the lies they were being told. But anyways all the people that post themselves, shit go ahead your choice but when some stupid ass kid[(yes very immature) with a little dick and balls if I must add] cause they obviously can’t handle rejection, decides to post someone else’s pics all over a misunderstanding…….that’s for life. Hunter Moore won’t take them down.
    Oh, and let me tell you how fast it happened, took maybe a couple hours…that’s it. Stupid bitch sent em in, then Hunter posted them a couple hours later. Yeah. Now it’d be different if I sent them in myself, cause hey it’d be my choice and I could live with that. But just cause some stupid asshole wants to make money off of my pics without my permission and everyone else who got posted???? Come on, there has to be something that can be done.
    Nobody expects to get posted. You dont think about that shit. Yeah, I should have but…you see that’s why I’m not drinking anymore. It’s very, very embarassing. And idk I guess karma is a bitch so have fun in hell. Im just pissed. At first, I thought censoring the internet would be a bad thing, but now…I wish they would.It just feels wrong to feel like an object, to feel like you have no rights to your privacy; knowing that anybody has access to your naked body at the click of a button. I respect myself. And yes I know it’s my fault in the first place for making bad decisions, but fuck does the whole world have to know?
    I do have a question, is it possible that the person who posts the nudes can get into trouble?

  12. [...] These websites differ from a traditional pornographic websites because most of the content is not self-submitted; rather, people other than the subject submit the pornographic images.  Often, the culprit is a [...]

  13. Alex says:

    Everyday, we encounter the same thing: our rights as Americans. Hunter Moore just enjoys his First Amendment right more than some of us. This is completely legal and I agree, if you’re willing to get send nudes to someone, be ready for all the consequences ahead. Hunter actually has a good relationship with the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children through IAU. He throws charity parties and reports any animal cruelty. I don’t understand why everyone thinks so negatively about Hunter Moore and isanyoneup. In 1996, the Supreme Court decided the internet will be treated like a book, magazine, etc. Anything can be stated and considered freedom of speech.

  14. […] to humiliate and demean (including those who are underage). This has in the past been termed “revenge porn,” as the motivation is often the desire to get back at someone else. You can imagine the […]

  15. Victim says:

    Lol u don’t think I don’t know this already?-_- come on people….wtf is wrong with the world today hahaha anyways i will be laughing my ass off when it happens to you or someone you care about dearly:) so have a nice life and fuck off hater lmao everybody…let me repeat that again so u will understand ok sweetie;] EVERYBODY sends nudes…don’t judge me you stupid bitch you don’t even know me…you are just a fucking troll. Why don’t you go do something with your life? Hmm? Oh I know…maybe you don’t have one. That right there is pathetic. I feel sorry for you.

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