Image courtesy of Hunter Moore.
Depending on how you look at it (or depending on your willingness to forgive), Hunter Moore has answered for his crimes against human dignity. Since his “revenge porn” website, IsAnyoneUp.com, was bought by the anti-bullying website, Bullyville.com, Moore has taken a much-needed leave of absence from public scrutiny.
For the uninitiated, Moore’s site allowed scorned lovers to upload nude photos of their exes from their mobile devices to a custom profile, and then attach a link to their victim’s Facebook account for extra embarrassment. After losing momentum in legal debacles after teenagers began using the site’s services, Moore quickly began to see the error of his ways. In a statement issued on Bullyville.com shortly after the sale, Bullyville founder and friend of Moore’s, James McGibney, put it succintly: “IsAnyoneUp.com served no public good. That is why it is offline.”
And so, in reaching out to Moore for an interview for Entrepreneur Week, BTR wasn’t interested in getting on the media bandwagon of making him answer for his moral shortcomings. From a business standpoint, the sheer dynamics and trajectory of IsAnyoneUp are rather intriguing. With a team of four, Moore was able to handle 300,000 hits to his website per day from all over the world, accumulating a personal income of $20,000 per month at the height of the site’s success. All the while, Moore courted the media with the finesse of a suicide bomber which, considering his clientele, only made for good business.
In this brief snippet of our conversation (the rest to be featured on BTR’s new current events podcast Third Eye Weekly later this week), we ask Moore about the logistics of the site’s humble beginnings and his side of the story behind his more confrontational showdowns with the press. In response, he shows remorse for the damage done through his ventures, but has the unruly web entrepreneur turned a new page in his life or is Hunter Moore still up to the same old tricks?
BreakThru Radio: Getting things started, I actually want to talk to you about the premier days of creating IsAnyoneUp.com, outside of the controversy for a second. You’ve answered to all of the moral questions you had in making this website, if you could go back, though, and give business advice to the Hunter Moore that just had this idea for a website, what would you tell him?
Hunter Moore: Man, that’s a pretty big question. First I’d say get a very, very good lawyer, but besides the legal aspects, the only thing I really had trouble with was monetizing the site because it was classified as porn, even though there was no sex going on. I’d get a really good lawyer and I would’ve spent a lot more time trying to make money on the site instead of just being stupid and being poor for a very long time.
BTR: But perfectly understandable. As I was reading in various interviews, when you started IsAnyoneUp.com, you were negative $120 in your bank account and you were asking your mom to help you out with phone bills and things like that?
HM: Yeah, I was actually promoting at the time in San Francisco, just doing club stuff. I had moved back from Sydney, Australia, so I had no money. I started the site, kind of as a side project. It wasn’t supposed to be what it turned into, actually. My friends and I would just post pictures of girls, just for ourselves for our personal use, and then I kind of took it a little too far.
BTR: Of your Larry Flynts and the people in this industry who have caused controversy, not a lot of them have gone on day-time television to face their accusers. What made you come around to that? Did you feel a need, just within yourself, to say “I’ve got to at least face these people down?” What drove that decision?
HM: Well, it was weird, they didn’t actually tell me, but they gave me the idea that it would be a one-on-one interview, which I was fine with. I actually found out [what the dynamic of the show was going to be] at the airport, because I guess they had slipped their tongue kind of about what the show was going to be about. I had missed my flight to New York from San Francisco and I was like “I’ll just fly out of Sacramento” and they told me “Well, there’s going to be somebody on the flight that’s going to be on the show.” So I was like “Oh great, I’m going to be confronted by someone.” I just knew it. Then, as soon as I walked out on stage, I was ambushed. It wasn’t like I wanted to, I didn’t really know what was going on, but it didn’t really phase me. I go out all the time, we do parties for the site and people that were posted on the site would come. I’ve seen people out at a bar or the girls I’d had sex with and written stories about. I’d see them out after writing some horrible story about them. It was a really new thing to me. It was funny because the girl that was accusing me, one of the ones that confronted me on the show, I had sex with her probably about an hour after the show.
BTR: Wait, really, the girl that was sitting next to Anderson Cooper, giving the chief accusation against you, in front of the public, that happened after the cameras turned off?
HM: Yeah, we were all staying in the same hotel room. It was pretty easy actually; I don’t know. It was really funny. Then probably an hour after that I did an interview with a really small online radio show and the girl was in the room; I was telling about how I just had sex with her and she was trying to take the phone away from me, so that was pretty awesome. A good story for the grandkids.
For more of this interview with Hunter, tune into BreakThru Radio’s brand new current events podcast, Third Eye Weekly, on this coming Thursday, May 24th.