Over the past few days, the Internet lit up with a story that members of 4chan were allegedly threatening to release nude photos of Emma Watson in retaliation for her speech on feminism at the U.N. It even got my attention because if this shit is true (which it wasn’t), it’s pretty fucked up. And after posting it about yesterday, I heard from several commenters that, “No, man, you got it all wrong. 4chan wouldn’t do this. It’s a family place where we do balloon animals now. Now, 8chan. 8chan is where this probably happened.” And then there were of course the commenters going, “Yeah, she needs to shut up,” and, “Keep feminism out of MY GAMES,” because there is still a subculture inside 4chan with a history of violent, rape-filled rhetoric toward women, not to mention where The Fappening started, which made all of this entirely believable. Except everyone was wrong because it was a viral marketing stunt from a company who claims it was hired by celebrity publicists to discredit and ultimately shutdown 4chan. Via Mashable:
The website surrounding the false leaks, EmmaYouAreNext.com, threatened to release nude photographs of the 24-year-old actress and included a clock counting down to Saturday at midnight ET. The person who posted the website said it was in retaliation for Watson’s well-received speech that she gave at the United Nations on Sept. 20.
However, by midnight on Wednesday, the URL redirected to Rantic Marketing’s website. Watson’s face and the countdown clock has been replaced with a banner that says, “#shutdown4chan” and an open letter to President Barack Obama that claims celebrity publicists hired the marketing company to popularize a call for Internet censorship and the end of 4chan.
So let me tell you what was accomplished here: 1. Everyone’s seeing the words <Rantic Marketing now, so great job for them. Mission accomplished. 2. Any further, legitimate discussions on nude photo hacks and violent rhetoric toward women on the Internet – which they claim was the purpose – can now be slapped with a big ol’ “Just A Hoax” label for quick and easy dismissal. So again, super job. Great work.
UPDATE: And Rantic Marketing is a fake company. I hate everything. *buries face in bikini photos*
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