Photo: ‘The Most Hated Man on the Internet’
Scarier Than Fiction
It’s been proven time and again just how unsafe the Internet can really be. Even when one takes as many precautions as possible, there are always scammers, hackers, and security breaches to be wary of. As great as the Internet’s many offerings may seem, one major drawback is that it allows people with no conscience or moral compass to take advantage of said offerings and do things that are truly heinous.
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Whether it’s scamming people out of money, harassing and humiliating others, or any other number of horrible things that can be done, the online world has always been a scary place, and it will very likely continue to be a scary place from now until the end of time. This brings us to today’s subject, a Netflix true crime documentary that serves to showcase the kind of reprehensible behavior that the Internet can unintentionally encourage.
‘The Most Hated Man on the Internet’ is a documentary mini-series directed by Rob Miller. It focuses on a man named Hunter Moore, who created a revenge porn website called Is Anyone Up? The site allowed people to upload pictures of their exes, along with providing personal information and links to social media, giving users free reign to say whatever they want about the exes in question.
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However, when one young woman had images of her uploaded to the site, her mother took it upon herself to not only get her daughter’s images offline, but shut down the site entirely. However, Trevor Moore soon proved himself to be far less than reasonable, and the manner in which many of the photos on the site had been obtained was soon called into question…
A New Coat of Paint
As someone who was completely out of the loop while all of this happened, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect going into ‘The Most Hated Man on the Internet’. While documentaries like these generally touch on important subjects, I’ve found they can sometimes be a bit too one-sided towards issues that carry a bit of nuance with them, painting the “culprit” as the unequivocal bad guy when there might be other factors.
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Despite his titular nickname, I actually never knew about Hunter Moore and the extent of everything he did that made him infamous. However, ‘The Most Hated Man on the Internet’ covers all possible ground, giving us numerous perspectives and giving all the context it needs to show who’s in the right and who’s in the wrong. By the end of it, we know very well who to sympathize with.
As for my personal feelings toward ‘The Most Hated Man on the Internet’ as a documentary, well…they’re a bit conflicting, truth be told. See, everything I’ve said up until now still stands; there are important things that this series discusses, and it’s good to be aware of just how unsafe the Internet can really be, but at the same time, there’s not really a whole lot of new insight that it brings.
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I think at this point, most people in the target demographic for this series know how dangerous the Internet is, and what kind of unsavory behavior people can display through it. I did enjoy this series for what it was, and I think it’s great that the victims in the situation were able to share their full story with the world, but it’s not the strongest thematically, and it’s not something I ever really see myself rewatching or revisiting in the future.
The presentation of ‘The Most Hated Man on the Internet’ is solid. Like the series’ overall message, it’s nothing we haven’t really seen in other true crime documentaries, but it is directed well nonetheless, letting interviewees tell the unfolding story instead of a narrator, and pacing itself just right. The score I feel can be a little manipulative at times, but more often than not, it does help convey the intended emotions.
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I also think the format of three hour-long episodes was a good choice, because it allows the entire story to be spread out at a reasonable length, while still allowing everything that’s talked about to properly sink in.
One minor issue I have with ‘The Most Hated Man on the Internet’ is that sometimes it’s hard to tell how much of what’s being shown on screen is genuine or not. Because Is Anyone Up has long since been taken down, a mockup of the original website is featured prominently throughout the documentary, as indicated by a disclaimer at the start. Similarly, Twitter is another site that’s shown quite often, and it’s given a similar mockup treatment to keep it accurate to the early 2010’s when this all took place. However, because of all this, it’s hard to truly know if the various comments and tweets shown throughout the series are real, or just paraphrased.
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Another Important Message
One thing I do admire ‘The Most Hated Man on the Internet’ for is how it relays one of its main takeaways without directly spelling it out to the viewer; the series puts a strong emphasis on the people that followed Hunter Moore. We’re shown the full extent of their devotion to him, how these followers would constantly praise and declare their love for him on social media, how they never questioned anything he did, and how they would threaten to come after anybody who wronged him. They’re even referred to as a “cult” at one point, and it’s a pretty apt comparison.
‘The Most Hated Man on the Internet’ makes this secondary message clear by simply showing the kind of things these people were saying. Regardless of how much you like a particular person, one must always remember that people are just that: people, and thus should be treated as such. Admiring or liking people such as actors, musicians, or online content creators is one thing, but there’s a point where it becomes an obsession, and treating anybody as some sort of godlike individual isn’t healthy. Even if the revered person in question was someone less problematic than Hunter Moore, this would still be an important lesson to learn. Be your own person and not a sheep, simple as that.
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Should You Watch ‘The Most Hated Man on the Internet’?
While documentaries that showcase the worst sides of humanity are nothing new, ‘The Most Hated Man on the Internet’ does its job well in presenting a case that became far more serious than it otherwise could have been. Sometimes, cases like these go under the radar as far as the general public’s concerned (I had no idea all of this was going on back when it was, though social media not being as big as it is now might have had something to do with that), and thus documentaries such as ‘The Most Hated Man on the Internet’ still do have their place.
If you’re into true crime stories and you haven’t heard of Is Anyone Up or Hunter Moore, then this one’s an alright watch. However, if you’ve heard enough Internet horror stories of lives ruined online, then there is a chance you might not get too much out of it. Honestly, how much you might enjoy or get out of this series really depends on how you feel about Internet-related true crime, but even so, feel free to give it a watch and form your own opinion.
Cast and Crew:
Directed by: Chris Miller
Cinematography by: Ryan Earl Parker
Starring (As Themselves): Charlotte Laws, Kayla Laws, Charles Parselle, Kirra Hughes, Hunter Moore (archival footage)
By Austin Oguri
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Austin Oguri is a screenwriter and has deep appreciation for the art of film in general, he aims to offer unique perspectives through his film reviews and feature articles. He also has a soft spot for lesser-known works, and enjoys spotlighting them whenever he can. Austin has always found it necessary for people to encourage and bring out the best in each other, and as a writer at The Hollywood Insider, he can combine that ideology with his ability to think outside the box and truly express his love for the arts in the best ways possible.