The creator of a “revenge porn” website was arrested Jan. 23 — but not for maintaining the website.
Hunter Moore’s now-defunct website, isanyoneup.com, displayed nude images and videos submitted to the site by scorned ex-lovers or angry ex-boyfriends as a form of revenge.
Moore, 27, paid a friend to hack into girls’ email accounts and download their nude photos, which he then posted on his website, according to the 15-count FBI indictment.
The previous website’s user-submitted content was perfectly legal under current Florida law, but that may soon change, said Florida Rep. Tom Goodson.
Goodson is sponsoring a bill that aims to criminalize the distribution of “revenge porn,” regardless of who uploaded it. A similar bill failed to pass in Florida last year due in part to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which immunizes websites from defamation and privacy claims.
As a victim of revenge porn, CEO and founder of Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, Holly Jacobs, is doing her best to help legislators craft language that can subvert Section 230.
Jacobs had to leave her teaching job and change her name after nude photos and an explicit video ended up online.
Sara Finnigan, a 22-year-old UF economics senior, has visited Moore’s site.
“There are some that are disturbing, and there are some that are funny,” she said. “Mostly it’s interesting because some people post and they’re mad … some people are a little graphic.”
But Jacobs found nothing funny about revenge porn.
“It’s scary to go through,” the 30-year-old said. “It’s not only completely violating and a form of sexual assault … but it also incites stalking and harassment.”
The video of Jacobs included her full name, email address, information about her progress in a Ph.D. program and where she would be giving conferences, she said.
Some argue that “revenge porn” sites shouldn’t be criminalized because the people in the images allowed their photos to be taken in the first place – or took them themselves.
Connor Volpi, a 21-year-old UF psychology junior, said he didn’t think that sites like Moore’s should be taken away because people are simply put in embarrassing situations.
[A version of this story ran on page 10 on 2/6/2014 under the headline "Revenge porn site creator arrested"]