Harry Potter star Emma Watson gave an impassioned speech about the virtues of supporting feminist causes at the UN earlier this week, launching her "HeForShe" cause. Just a few weeks after the 4chan celebrity nude leaks scandal, her words seemed particularly pertinent. And it apparently invoked the wrath of the very same 4Chan hackers who published the earlier set of nudes, threatening to post revealing photos of Watson and starting off a countdown clock at EmmaYouAreNext.com. Much anger was pointed towards 4chan, understandably, as a result.
Except 4Chan wasn't behind the threat at all. While the post making the threat originated on the 4Chan forums, a viral marketing company called Rantic Marketing has now claimed responsibility for the stunt. It's purpose? To push 4Chan into further disrepute and force it to close. EmmaYouAreNext.com now redirects to the Rantic Marketing homepage.
"4chan is messing with the wrong one, ladies have been suffering, Kids are being exposed to the utterly disturbing content, 4chan IS KILL," reads one Rantic Marketing tweet, while another reads," Dear humans, In the digital age we have a new kind of terror going on and it is called 4chan,Help us take down the terrorist group 4chan."
Rantic Marketing claims to have been hired "by celebrity publicists to bring this disgusting issue to attention," but the whole enterprise seems very crude, from the Rantic homepage itself to the grammar used in its posts. Any celebrity backers would probably want their money back. Perhaps worst of all, it's deflected attention away from Watson's actual message, causing more damage than good -- if Rantic Marketing has really been hired by celebrity publicists, the campaign is naive at best.
Emma Watson's "HeForShe" speech given at the United Nations conference can be found below. If you haven't already, you should watch it.