Some of you may have picked up on stories yesterday that 4chan — a website designed specifically for the douche-scourge of the Internet — had become irate over Emma Watson’s UN Address, and her statements in support of feminism. Reports suggested that, in response to statements in support of female equality, 4chan members were threatening to release nude photos of Watson. In turn, a website, EmmaYouAreNext.com, was created, which contained a photo of Emma Watson holding a clock meant to be a countdown until nude Emma Watson photos were released.
Only it turns out that 4chan wasn’t behind that website. In fact, just the opposite: It was a marketing stunt by an outfit called Rantic, whose aim it is to shut down 4chan. In fact, if you go to EmmaYouAreNext.com now, it will redirect you to Rantic, which bills itself as a social media firm that’s been hired by a celebrity publicist to lobby President Obama to shut down 4chan.
Well, OK! Couple things:
That’s very well intentioned, but first of all, the way in which it called attention to itself — threatening to release nude photos of Emma Watson and blaming 4chan for it — was kind of sleazy. It’s not that 4chan hasn’t engaged in far, far more sleazy activities, but this kind of gives 4chan the opportunity to stand on some moral high ground in opposition to another organization’s tactics, which is not what any of us want.
Second, President Obama can’t do sh*t about 4chan. He can condemn it. He can urge others to avoid it, and he may be able to encourage Congress to pass certain laws prohibiting some of the activities that 4chan engages in, although hacking into someone’s phone and stealing photos is already a crime.
Finally, did Emma Watson approve of this? Did Emma Watson’s publicist hire Rantic? Because that’s really kind of twisted: Drawing negative attention to Emma Watson in order to transform it into an effort to shut down 4chan. Basically, Rantic used the threat/promise of Emma Watson nude photos to drum up support in opposition to an outlet that publishes nude photos.
Just FYI, Rantic: That’s probably not a helpful way to approach this issue.