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Netflix Users Are Warning Each Other About A Disturbing True Crime Documentary

One of Netflix's newest and buzziest true crime documentaries is making waves on the streamer — and some viewers are warning others interested in watching it that they should proceed with caution. 

"Can I Tell You A Secret?" is a shocking new docuseries from Netflix that details one of England's most successful and prolific cyberstalkers ... and interviews three of his tormented victims who ultimately helped identify him and take him down. Zoe Jade Hallam, Abby Furness, and Lia Marie Hambly — who all had notable social media presences when they were targeted — were all terrorized by a man who was ultimately unmasked as Matthew Hardy. The title of the docuseries comes from one of Hardy's tactics, in which he would use fake accounts to draw the women in before promptly ruining their reputations by contacting coworkers, loved ones, or romantic partners with damaging (and false) information.

So what do audiences think of "Can I Tell You A Secret?"? They think it's really, really unsettling. Some viewers have advice, like @peachontwitta on X (formerly known as Twitter), who wrote, "Can I Tell You A Secret? on Netflix is perfect nightmare fuel, especially if you're a woman, and what did I, a woman, do? I watched it right before bed."

Audiences, especially women, think Can I Tell You a Secret? is quite scary

Viewers — especially women — flocked to X after watching "Can I Tell You A Secret?" to let interested parties know just how gutwrenching the series really is. As @AbbeyReady2read wrote, "'Can I tell you a secret?' On Netflix is haunting, and highlights the endemic of police failing female victims of crime." The user is referring to the fact that Hardy operated his scams for a decade before Lisa Marie Hambly, frustrated with the police response, assembled an enormous paper trail of Hardy's crimes that ultimately brought him down.

User @kylaer_, meanwhile, felt awful for Hambly and the other women involved: "I feel so bad for these girls. The[y] knew exactly what he was doing, with the amount of effort he was putting in stalking and taunting these girls, their friends and families, etc. Evil person." 

A similar sentiment was expressed by @snakefollower: "A worrying set of circumstances about stalking and harrassment via social media. The effect this has making girls feel anxious and unsafe." As for @MickyWard, they kept it short, sweet, and to the point: "Creepy sh**."

What happens to Matthew Hardy and his victims in Can I Tell You A Secret?

The summed-up version of "Can I Tell You A Secret?" is this: Women across the United Kingdom, including Zoe Jade Hallam, Abby Furness, and Lia Marie Hambly, were terrorized and tormented by a mysterious cyberstalker who sent risqué and private photos to other people, made their loved ones think they were liars, and worse. 

Hallam told the documentary crew that the stalker posed as various people in her life — including her boyfriend's dad and a doctor she saw — and used those identities to illicitly contact teenage girls. Furness says the stalker constructed a sexually explicit conversation in her stead and had it with a coworker, getting her into serious trouble at work. As for Hambly, she got many phone calls — constant ones — and the stalker also targeted her loved ones.

Ultimately, evidence put Matthew Hardy behind bars; as of this writing, he's currently serving a prison term that began as a nine-year sentence (setting a record for cyberstalking sentences in England) but was later shortened to eight years. Watching his numerous crimes laid out in "Can I Tell You A Secret?" is certainly disturbing — and viewers should know that before they press play. The series is streaming on Netflix now.