In docuseries, mom takes down ‘Most Hated Man on Internet’
Atlanta native Charlotte Laws is a tenacious bulldog when she latches onto something. So when a man hacked her daughter Kayla’s email account, stole nude photos of her and posted them on a revenge porn website, Laws was apoplectic.
Not only did Laws eventually get Kayla’s photo off the web, but she would also take down the unrepentant Hunter Moore — who ran the revenge porn site — with help from the FBI, anti-bullying advocate James McGibney and Anonymous, a group of Robin Hood-style hackers. The story is chronicled in a new Netflix true-crime docuseries now streaming, “The Most Hated Man on the Internet.”
The lurid subject matter and the quality of the documentary itself propelled it into the Netflix top 10, where it remained for several days after its release.
“The one thing he didn’t anticipate was that there would be somebody like Charlotte Laws,” said Camille Dodero, who wrote a 2012 Village Voice profile on Moore and later followed up with his hacking exploits, in the third episode. “He anticipated everything else, but he never expected an angry mother to be his undoing.”
Kayla added: “My mom is not a woman you wanna cross.”
In the end, the FBI indicted Moore and his partner Charlie Evans for their hacking scheme that impacted hundreds of women. He pleaded guilty in 2015 and went to prison for more than two years. Free since 2017, he wrote a self-published book but has otherwise kept a relatively low profile.
In an interview, Laws,
62, who now lives in Woodland Hills, California, said she was happy with the way the docuseries turned out.
“The producers did an excellent job,” she said. “I think they’ll win awards. It was very well put together. I think it tells a compelling story.”
On her own, Laws found 40 other victims from Moore’s site and gave her files over to the FBI, who later raided his home for technical devices and eventually arrested him.
In the early 2010s, Moore created Is Anyone Up?, which became known as a “revenge porn” site. People could send nude photos and videos of exes there, and he would post that info, along with their Facebook profile. But he also hired a man to hack into people’s email accounts and glean more naked photos from there.
This is what happened to Laws’ daughter. She had taken a topless photo of herself on her iPhone but didn’t do anything with it. Her phone ran out of memory so she emailed a copy to herself. Then someone hacked into her email, stealing the photos and posting them on Moore’s website.
Moore at first agreed to participate in the documentary but then pulled out. The end of the series noted, “We decided to use his image anyway.”
Laws said the documentary may have been different if he had cooperated and might have elevated his profile in a more positive way. So she said she’s glad he didn’t.
Her daughter Kayla is now a successful real estate agent and recently got married. She originally didn’t want to speak to the producers in the documentary herself, worried it might hurt her business, but at the last second did so, and her testimony was powerful. “She gave depth and texture to the whole thing,” Laws said.
As for her own life, Laws said she is now focused more on animal rights.
And she said feedback so far regarding the documentary has been almost entirely positive.
“It’s an important issue,” she said. “There are still revenge porn sites out there. Hundreds of victims are contacting me for help. I send them to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, a nonprofit that helps victims get attorneys pro bono.”