The Emma Watson Nude Photo Leak Threat Was a Viral Marketing Hoax
Only that isn’t what happened at all.
As it happens, EmmaYouAreNext.com was not the product of angry, unwashed basement dwellers; in fact, it was a viral marketing hoax created by a company called Rantic.
Dazed reports that EmmaYouAreNext now redirects to Rantic’s homepage, where there exists an open letter to Barack Obama calling for the shutdown of 4chan. They appear to be starting a “movement” using he hashtag #ShutDown4Chan. (Surely #ShutDownRantic would, at this point, gain more traction.) Part of the letter reads as follows:
“We have been hired by celebrity publicists to bring this disgusting issue to attention. The recent 4chan celebrity nude leaks in the past two months have been an invasion of privacy and is also clear indication that the internet NEEDS to be censored.”
So to sum up: A woman makes a passionate speech about gender equality. A website threatening her privacy (and safety) pops up and is attributed to a known group of internet hackers and troublemakers. Eventually, a marketing firm takes responsibility for the site, though under false pretenses. Everything — the internet especially — is the worst.