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WTF Internet?! The real story behind the fake Emma Watson attacks

'And then they said they'd leak nudes...'



I have always liked Emma Watson, though I never made it past the first Harry Potter movie.  This is mainly because ever since I was a teen, I was in love with Adult Fantasy (Jordan, Fiest, Hickman, McCaffrey, Weis etc) and the perception that Fantasy is just a kids genre annoys me to death.  So I've followed her work outside of Harry Potter.

Recently she spoke out at the UN on behalf of feminism.  The second half of her speech nearly made me cry.  Seeing a celebrity make any effort to publicly pass the talking stick to men so they could at last be recognised as part of gender equality debate, spoke to me on a very personal level.  Don't get me wrong, the HeForShe campaign I think is a good first step but does not do enough for gender equality, however it is a step, and as I haven't seen any other steps that publicly include men on a grand scale - it was very exciting.

Let me clarify; my last conversation with a feminist - and all I did was quote conservative feminism's position on self-objectification - was answered with, 'Fuck you, what do you know? You're just a man'.  Yes I understand that this is misandry and not feminism, but as I am fairly regularly on the end of that kind of sentiment by people who hide behind feminism (eg The Reddit "Against Men's Rights" group), I loved Emma after her address.

After her UN address, threats were made to release Emma Watson nudes (purported to originate with 4Chan) with a website being opened, showing pictures of her crying.

When I saw the threat, I lost it.  I don't care how angry you are that feminism has been holding the talking stick for 50 years on gender equality... only a complete fucking moron attacks the first and only person to attempt to publicly include men (yes MRAs, I understand it was only a call to join the feminist fight, but her address included ending Male Gender Role and that's a win).

Having 'men' attack Emma Watson is the male gender equality equivalent of biting the hand that feeds.  I personally started penning a response immediately explaining that while I do not believe in supporting judeo-christian morality, any leaked Emma nudes would never show up on this site, but half way through the post went to bed.

By the time I had woken up, 4Chan had nixxed the 'threat' story.  People associated with the 4Chan community explained it had nothing to do with the threat on Emma and started compiling evidence in their defence (see picture graph story board at the end of this article).

The evidence was compelling and once it became clear they had nothing to do with, the website suddenly redirected to with an explanation that Rantic are a social media marketing company and had been hired by celebrity publicists to draw attention to the Celebgate scandal and were calling for the shutdown of 4Chan, and internet censorship.

Personally anytime I hear 'internet censorship' I want to just put both my hands over my face and smash my face into the keyboard.  The last and possibly only great freedom the world has is the Internet and once we lose that...  I'm not sure how long it is before places outside of the internet suffer state-control of speech and media.  If you think that's an unreasonable conclusion to come to, go live in North Korea, China, Iran or Egypt and then get back to me.

All I'm saying is, it's a damn slippery slope.

Anyway, the Rantic statement saying it had been hired to put up the fake attack mind-fucked me.  The day before I had come out very publicly in support of Emma and her message, and the idea that she had purposely set up an attack on herself to draw sympathy made me feel like I'd been played for a fool.  To say I was unhappy is an understatement.

Except Rantic is fake too.  It's not a real company - it a clique of internet hoaxers.  See here for more.
Right now I have moved from distinctly unhappy to feeling like I've just watched an entire season arc of The X-Files.

Here's what really happened, see if you can follow it:

  1. Hoaxers created a first fake site threatening to leak Emma nudes.
  2. Hoaxers create a seconde fake 'FOX news' site to report on the fake threat.
  3. Hoaxers then use a mass of dummy twitter accounts to be morally outraged about the fake report.
  4. Real blogs and news sites pick up the hoaxer 'outrage' and report on it.
  5. Real social media starts sharing reports on outrage...  outrage that is hoaxed.
  6. The hoaxers set up a breadcrumb trail to another third hoax site, a hoax social media company and let 4Chan work to find the third fake site, meaning they scream extra loud they have 'uncovered' a plot by a social media company to denounce them.
  7. The hoax social media company accepts responsibility, acknowledges the first fake site is fake, and says it was hired to do all of this by celebrities... which is also... a hoax.
  8. The third hoax site sends a hoax tweet to the second hoax news site, complaining that it's stories are getting it attacked by 4Chan, then deletes the tweet - but then use steps 3, 4, and 5 again to make news of the deleted tweet spread.
  9. The second and third sites are finally outed as fake, so far the only people I've seen catch onto this is
Confused?  Not surprising.

I don't know.  The water is so muddy now that my only real concern is that this will derail the HeForShe Campaign and though Emma hasn't publicly spoken on this I'm assuming her hands are clean.  In that vein I'm asking, if you were in favour of the HeForShe campaign before, and are questioning it now, consider that the agenda of the hoaxers may be to derail real conversation on gender equality - and that by walking away from the campaign because the waters have been muddied, you are essentially giving a sadistic group of people what they want.

I for one will be continuing to do what I can to support Emma's message of two voices on gender equality, joined together in conversation, not argument.

Here's a picture book response put together I think by some of the people behind or part of the 4Chan community, click on each image and have a read then move onto the next.

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