On Sunday, just a day after after actress Emma Watson gave a heartfelt speech in front of the U.N. on gender inequality, the Harry Potter star was again in the media headlines as being the latest person that hackers threatened to release nude photos of, though now it seems as if it was all a part of a hoax or publicity stunt. Emma Watson was not trying to get publicity; it was allegedly the efforts of a group called “Rantic Media” at the website, Rantic.com, to shut down the site 4Chan.org.
It appeared as if Emma Watson was the latest person to be targeted by hackers who have posted nude photos of celebrities to the site 4Chan.org when a page was launched at that site called Emma Watson You Are Next. There was an icon of a spinning wheel-like symbol there, as if the page was loading up more photos and there was also a message hinting that there would be more nude pictures released soon.
The countdown on the page ended Wednesday. The web page redirected people to the site Rantic.com, home of “Rantic Media,” an organization which was allegedly trying to gain publicity for the cause of shutting down 4Chan.org, the site where hackers posted nude photos of celebs like Jennifer Lawrence. However, the name “Rantic Media” is an anagram for “Incite Drama.”
Rantic.com does not seem to be the sort of organization that it has claimed to be, involved in using social media in marketing. Rather, according to Business Insider, the people behind Rantic.com “are part of a spamming ring called SocialVEVO.” Also, that very likely means that the group was not “hired by celebrity publicists to bring this disgusting issue to attention,” as it has claimed.
The stated goal of shutting down 4Chan.org and warning Emma Watson about the release of nude photos of herself online was all done, it appears, just to get them attention and drama for themselves. The group has stated that “celebrity publicists,” hired them, but that is probably not the case. The same group, SocialVEVO, also threatened to release upcoming details about Family Guy last year and used a similar countdown clock then.
The FBI is currently investigating the entire hacking scandal and are trying to find out whoever is behind posting nude photos of celebs online. Nobody, however, has yet been officially named as a potential suspect yet.
At first, most people assumed that the same hacker or hackers who were behind the other recent postings of nude celeb photos was also behind the threat to release nude photos of Emma Watson. Based on the fact that a made-up group of people called Rantic Media or SocialVevo was really behind the “threat” and it was allegedly done to call attention to and shut down the 4Chan.org site, there might not have ever been any nude photos of Emma Watson that anyone hacked into at all.
More information about this whole Emma Watson nude photo scandal is sure to come out soon. The continuing FBI investigation will likely eventually led to the arrest of the hacker or hackers; but, at least in the case of Emma Watson, the supposed threat to release nude photos of her at the 4Chan.org site seems to have been just a part of a publicity stunt.
Opinion By Douglas Cobb