Contributing author Rocky McGredy is back, with a look at two sites that play to the voyeur in all of us. Fair warning, some of the links both of the links to these sites are NSFW.
Have you heard about Hunter Moore? Well, you probably should have by now because there’s a good chance he’s seen you naked already. Hunter Moore, a San Francisco native, is the infamous founder of a website called Is Anyone Up(?). The name itself is a double entendre. The first meaning indicates that the site is geared toward those who live an avid nightlife, the second meaning... well, after you visit the site I think it’ll be easy to make an inference.
Basically, the site revolves around the concept of “revenge porn”. Users are encouraged to submit nude photos that have been sent to them via text message. If the user gets their image selected, Mr. Moore posts those photos with a screenshot of the facebook/twitter profile of the person in said pictures. Hilarity ensues. Or horror. Either way, the site is certainly a spectacle and I’m not the only one who thinks so... currently, the site averages nearly 80,000 hits a day.
On the other side of the spectrum is Guys With iPhones, a website of similar nature that hasn’t picked up nearly as much steam as IAU. Guys With iPhones also centers around self-submission, but in this case it’s iPhone self-pictures of men in mirrors. In some cases this turns out to be pornographic, but most of the time it just results in glorified narcissism. Guys with iPhones averages about 18,000 pageviews a day. Guys with iPhones has received several celebrity submissions, including former presidential candidate John McCain, Ashton Kutcher, Jim Carrey, Jordan Knight, Eddie Izzard, etc. etc. etc.
There’s a pretty large valley between the two sites hits wise, but both have been deemed internet phenomena because of their thought provoking content. The strange thing about these sites is that even though neither of them are safe for work, I’ve been told about them by friends and family members on multiple occasions. I don’t find pornographic websites to be a common area of discussion amongst me and my friends, but these ones aren’t treated the same.
Is Anyone Up appeals to the voyeur in all of us. It’s not that we’re looking at pornographic images, it’s that we’re gaining a glimpse into the personal lives of others. I find myself sharing the site with friends because of the pure spectacle of it all. It’s truly something that could only exist in the generation of social networking sites and camera phones.
The same goes for Guys With iPhones, but for a different reason. Aside from something to laugh at, Guys With iPhones serves as an example of how narcissism is magnified through the social graph. Guys with iPhones is entertainment of the same caliber as TMZ or Star Magazine.
With both of these sites in existence, it’s safe to say one thing: technology is now so instant, that we have to absolutely take our actions into consideration before we commit them. You never know what might show up on the internet. It’s a scary thought, so play it safe and just take pictures of yourself fully clothed; and avoid cheesy self pictures with your iPhone. In the meantime, go enjoy the misfortune of others at isanyoneup.com and the self-obsession of some at guyswithiphones.com. ;)