Update: The “agency” behind the stunt is, reportedly, a group of serial hoax-makers SocialVevo.
Like a lot of us, the folks at a certain company were upset about the recent spate of private photos stolen from female celebrities and released to the Internet. However, this company handled their outrage in the absolute worst way possible.
Ending a couple days’ speculation, the agency revealed on Tuesday that it was behind a threat to publish stolen photos of Emma Watson, and that the whole affair was a hoax. (If you want their name, you will have to Google–they will receive no marketing for their efforts directly from Co.Create).
It all started this past Saturday when a website entitled Emmayouarenext.com, with the logo of notorious site 4Chan festooned across it, appeared online. An odd threat regarding Watson, “Never Forget, the Biggest to Come Thus Far”, appeared on the site, along with a countdown. The launch immediately followed a speech Watson made about gender equality in her role as U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador. Apparently, some members of 4Chan, where the iCloud leaks had originally surfaced, were threatening a new leak as retribution. Except, they weren’t.
When the countdown completed on Tuesday, a resulting link lead to the unnamed marketing agency’s homepage, and an open letter to president Barack Obama calling for action against 4Chan for aiding the leaks. Emma Watson’s privacy hasn’t been invaded, but the public’s emotional vulnerability has.
The idea that a cabal of men threatened to release private photos of a woman as reprisal for her speaking out about feminism to an international audience is just repugnant–even for 4Chan. It was bound to get attention, and it did. The agency (which is now revealed to not be an agency at all) now claims that over 48 million people visited Emmayourenext.com, and it makes this claim, inexplicably, as proof that it has done something positive–which is preposterous. A stunt like this calls into question whether its perpetrators even care about the professed cause, or if it’s all just a self-serving calling card.
[h/t to The Drum]