We know for sure that celebrities have their share of online rumors about them, but the recent Emma Watson nude photos scandal leaked is currently one of the most controversial, in part due to some dubious activity of some sites hoping to gain attention. Whether you like it or not, there are some valuable lessons to learn from these somehow trivial matters. Let’s recall 3 short facts about the scandal you should know if you want to get your head around it. You can also understand how the controversial issues around this event shows a little bit more about social standards for women change or resist to changes and as well about how online information needs a better user-evaluation of its credibility.
1. Emma UN speech for Feminism
Emma Watson UN speech was a well-received piece that supported feminist action and women empowerment. As a Women Goodwill Ambassador, her UN speech delivered a message of gender equality , focusing on some very specific example of her own experience: her media sexualisation at only 14 years old, her observation of female dropouts of traditionally “masculine” sports and her labeling as a “bossy” girl at only 8 years old as examples of institutionalized ways of excluding girls and making them feel unworthy of doing “manly” jobs. She also outlined some of the most common stereotypes associated with the label “feminist”, like being unattractive, or hating men. She is also considered the initiator of the HeforShe Campaign, aiming at getting boys and men to support feminist goals.
2. Emma Watson Nude Photos Threat
Following this, a message with a link to emmayouarenext.com went viral on the internet. Speculation was made that, due to recent events of photo nudes of celebrities leaked on 4Chan, this could be an indicator of the fact that Emma Watson would be the next celebrity to have her mobile phone hacked for naked photos. The site had a clock countdown that indicated the number of days, hours, minutes and seconds until what was speculated as being that moment. It was widely seen and analysed in press as a response to her empowerment message and a sign of mysoginistic action against women daring to challenge patriarchal perspectives in society. Moreover, there is also o growing body of voices saying that the events perfectly express how women are constantly under scrutiny not only for how they look, but also for how they choose to address their social position. Using threats to leak Emma Watson nude photos pictures a grotesque, yet a widely used strategy to put women in what is traditionally known as their places with the help of their sexualized bodies as a mean of extreme exposure. If you are exposed as woman for the male gaze, you are surely in a vulnerable position that sometimes means a form a shaming.
3. Photo Nudes Thereat Actually a Prank Aimed at 4Chan
Later, the site proved to be a hoax initiated by Rantic, an anonymous organization that intended to gather protestors against 4Chan, the initial leaker of the nude celebrity photos series. An later on, this also proved to be more precisely a marketing stunt from Rantic Marketing aimed at shutting down 4Chan, but who exactly knows anymore?
However, this is a sign of a more general tendency of marketing strategies to play with people’s mind when using online viral information. Whether is user-generated or a grand master plan of a PR strategist, it is safe to say this event shows, on one hand, how online marketing is more pervasive than we might think and also, on the other hand, how fragile and susceptible to lack of credibility viral news and online information are. Emma Watson nude photos scandal is not about Emma Watson, nor about photos with naked bodies. The whole issue tells a story about gendered ways of being in the public eye, about the unequal way women are treated when they show signs of getting power, as Emma showed with her new ambassador role. Finally, they show a darker side of the power of online spread of opinions, positions and the so-called news.