Emma Watson nude photos site actually a ploy to take down 4chan

The number of female celebrities who have had personal photos and videos leaked as part of what has been dubbed The Fappening is growing all the time. The list includes actresses such as Jennifer Lawrence, Amber Heard and Hayden Panettiere.

EmmaYouAreNext.com appeared a few days ago, and displayed a clock counting down to the release of nude photos of Harry Potter actress Emma Watson. According to reports, the leaked content would appear on Friday, and 4chan was implicated in the site’s creation. But things are not at all what they seem.

In a matter of days EmmaYouAreNext.com had seen over 48 million visitors, been liked/shared seven million times on Facebook and tweeted about three million times. The story was covered by news organisations across the web.

However, not everyone believed EmmaYouAreNext.com was genuine. Investigators looking into the site first began to smell a rat when they discovered the Apache Server Status showed the website was being hosted on the same server as a site belonging to social media marketing enterprise Rantic Marketing. It was then spotted that many of the tweets about the site were identical and came from Twitter users with one thing in common - they all followed Rantic.

No doubt Rantic was hoping to reveal its involvement - rather than nude Emma Watson photos - on Friday, but with the company’s plans blown, it has had to come clean prematurely. Visitors to EmmaYouAreNext.com now find themselves redirected to Rantic.com, where a message details the true purpose of the site:

Spread the word

The site also promotes the hashtag #shutdown4chan and includes a letter to the president of the United States:

Obama letter

Visitors can click a link to send a copy of the letter to The White House. Although, it has to be said, if you’re going to a website looking for naked pictures of Emma Watson, you probably aren’t going to be very interested in emailing the president to express outrage about leaked celebrity photos.

No doubt Emma Watson will be breathing a sigh of relief (for now) but what do you think of the news? Clever piece of marketing with a noble aim, or just misguided silliness? Leave your comments below.

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