Trolling the trolls? Emma Watson nude leaks a ‘hoax’....by ‘fake’ marketing website calling for web censorship
A supposed plot by the popular website ‘4chan’ to publish nude images of Harry Potter actress Emma Watson has been unveiled as a hoax, conducted by an fake marketing company.
Rantic Marketing, the fake organisation behind the hoax, had reportedly set up a website last weekend called ‘Emmayouarenext.com’. Posing as users from 4chan, it promised to publish nude images of the actress in reaction to her speech on feminism at the United Nations.
The website featured a countdown timer which indicated that the photos would be leaked online on the 27th September.
It also carried the slogan : "Never Forget: The biggest threat to come so far"
The site was widely circulated on social media, with many criticising 4chan for its threats to the actress.
However, according to Business Insider, the company does not exist, as it has an inactive twitter page and an “apparently fictional” CEO called Brad Cockingham.
"Rantic Marketing is a fake company run by a gang of prolific Internet spammers used to quickly capitalize on Internet trends for page views. The group goes by a variety of different names” Business Insider adds.
The original ‘countdown’ has now been removed, and replaced with an open letter to President Obama calling for the website to be banned.
“Dear Barack Obama, we have been hired by celebrity publicists to bring this disgusting issue to attention” the letter reads.
“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”.
“Every Facebook like, share and Twitter mention will count as a social signature - and will be one step closer to shutting down 4chan.org," the letter adds.
The creators of Rantic also took to social media users to help them in their campaign.
However, the marketing company has faced a backlash of its own, as users berated them for encouraging censorship of the web.
Rantic Marketing: the Internet doesn't need to be censored. Criminals need to be caught. Put your efforts into that and not censorship.
— Stacey Thorp (@stasmi) September 24, 2014
— Stroopdoos (@Stroopdoos) September 24, 2014
The creators of the fake website were unavailable for comment.
Many commentators and web users believed that the threat was real, following the mass leak of celebrity photos by an unknown 4chan user, which included images of Oscar nominated actress Jennifer Lawrence.
The photos were stolen from the ‘Icloud’, which stores data from Apple devices such as the Iphone.
Following the mass leak of celebrity photos, Watson publicly attacked those responsible, telling reporters that the action was degrading to women.
"Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated on social media is reading the accompanying comments that show such a lack of empathy" she said.
No official comment was made on the threats by Emma Watson or by any of her staff.