By Amy Price
The issue of bullying in schools has recently made national headlines in the United States, but a harsh reality for adults and teens is that bullying does not stay in the hallways and schoolyards or with age groups under 18. The Internet provides a medium of hostility and abuse that opens the door for anyone to be abused.
Sites such as www.cheaterville.com, www.thedirty.com and www.isanyoneup.com provide means through which adults and teens harass and insult other adults and teens.
The websites encourage users to exploit others by posting private and personal information for the world to see.
On www.cheaterville.com, users submit photos, emails and cell phone screenshots to prove infidelity. Users at www.thedirty.com submit short TMZ-style gossip or “dirt” directed to the site’s owner, Nik Richie.
While both of these sites make money and depend on other people’s disgruntled and failed relationships, the levels of humiliation are tame in comparison to www.isanyoneup.com.
As of April 19, www.isan yoneup.com is no longer in service. This is a long awaited fulfillment of justice for the lives the website destroyed.
The site’s creator Hunter Moore posted nude photos juxtaposed with Facebook screenshots.
ISU was closely tied to the metalcore scene, a subgenre of heavy metal and punk music, and included a lot of nude photos of band members and fans of that particular music scene. In an interview with The Awl, an online culture and current events news website, Moore said if people are stupid enough to take nude photos, he is going to make money from their mistakes.
The photos were often submitted by upset ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends following relationships gone sour.
According to a Forbes news article, Moore was ambushed and stabbed by a woman whose nude picture appeared on the website in August 2011. In a statement on his website, Moore wrote that the attack, rising server fees, restriction of advertisers, and stress from lawyers led to his decision to shut down the site. “The bills were getting too insane and I had to turn to the porn game for extra money, but it’s too shady and, in my opinion, it ruined the site,” Moore said in the statement.
Moore, according to The Awl, was grossing $13,000 a month from the site.
Users who visit www.isanyoneup.com are redirected to a new domain, www.bullyville.com. The new site is owned by James McGibney, who also owns www.cheaterville.com.
McGibney said although some people see www.cheaterville.com as a bullying site, it is not.
“Isanyoneup.com served no public good. That is why it is offline,” he said.
Moore claims to be working for the anti-bullying movement and has given up bullying online. “I think it’s important that everyone realizes the damage that online bullying can cause,” Moore said.
People who are being bullied or have experience bullying now have an outlet for their frustrations at www.bullyville.com.
But one would be smart to be skeptical of the site because it is being run by the same person who has posted hearsay gossip and personal photos provided by users.
These sites cause intense emotional damage and ruin lives. Yes, online bullying can occur outside these sites too, but www.cheaterville.com, www.thedirty.com, and the late www.isanyoneup.com make harassment look like entertainment.
In reality, this kind of abuse is just another from of bullying.
As adults, we are supposed to be setting examples for younger generations. We must implement principles of respect, so we can phase out bullying once and for all.