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Emma Watson is an English actress and model known for portraying the character Hermione Ganger in the Harry Potter fantasy film series. The actress has gained a significant fandom online on sites like Reddit, where users frequently laud her attractiveness and sex appeal.
On January 19th, 2006, YouTube christmassacre uploaded footage of Watson punching an interviewer (shown below, left), which gained over 5.6 million views and 8,800 comments in the first eight years. On November 21st, 2007, YouTuber mag2b uploaded slowed-down footage of Watson crossing her legs during an appearance on the talk show Late Show with David Letterman (shown below, right). Within six years, the video accumulated more than 1.64 million views and 600 comments.
He for She Campaign
On August 18th, 2014, Emma Watson sent out a tweet in advocacy of women’s rights movement with the hashtag #heforshe. Within a month, the tweet was retweeted over 27,000 times and the hashtag was tweeted out over 160,000 times. On September 20th, Watson attended a special event at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City to deliver a speech on the current state of gender inequality across the world, during which she announced the launch of the He For She campaign. On the following day, YouTuber normaljean2 uploaded a full-length video of Watson’s U.N. speech, which gained more than 2.5 million views in less than 48 hours.
“I want men to take up this mantle. So their daughters, sisters and mothers can be free from prejudice but also so that their sons have permission to be vulnerable and human too – reclaim those parts of themselves they abandoned and in doing so be a more true and complete version of themselves.”
Nude Photo Leak Hoax
On September 22nd, the single serving site EmmaYouAreNext.com was created with a photograph of Emma Watson and a countdown clock implying that the actress, who is no stranger to being the subject of sexually explicit photoshopped images, has been chosen as the next victim of the ongoing leaks of celebrity nude photographs by hackers in affiliation with The Fappening, presumably in retaliation for announcing the launch of the international feminist campaign He for She at the U.N. Headquarters earlier that same week.
Meanwhile, the hashtag #RIPEmmaWatson was introduced on Twitter in an attempt to disseminate Watson’s death hoax. Within a week, the hashtag was tweeted out over 500 times. On September 23rd, The New Statesman published an open letter to Watson titled “Dear Emma Watson, it’s great that you’ve come out as a feminist. Here’s what to expect,” which explains:
“All I can say Emma, is: fuck them. It makes me furious that these men, these boys, are attempting to grind you down, in the same way that similar men have tirelessly attempted to grind down the emergence of our gender as a viable political threat for generations now. Fuck them. I know that you will not let them stop you, just as we other feminists will not let it stop us.”
Within hours of reports claiming that 4chan threatened to release nude pictures of Emma Watson, some of the 4chan users managed to track back the website’s server status and identify a company called Rantic Marketing as the owner of the domain. Furthermore, others soon uncovered evidence linking Rantic with Fox Weekly, an online news site that has previously gained notoriety for running hoaxes as news stories in order to generate traffic. After the countdown reached 00:00 on September 23rd, the website redirected to Rantic.com, which provided a statement detailing the true intentions behind the stunt, mainly to shut down 4chan in retaliation for the celebrity nude photo leak known as The Fappening:
Dear Barack Obama,
“We have been hired by celebrity publicists to bring this disgusting issue to attention. The recent 4chan celebrity nude leaks in the past 2 months have been an invasion of privacy and is also clear indication that the internet NEEDS to be censored. Every Facebook like, share & Twitter mention will count as a social signature -- and will be one step closer to shutting down www.4chan.org. "
On September 24th, The Daily Dot published an article identifying the social media pranksters SocialVevo as the brainchild group behind the stunt and the fake marketing firm Rantic. The same day, NY Mag published an article about the hoax, which referred to Rantic as a “fake viral marketing firm” created by Social VEVO founders Jacob Povolotski, Yasha Swag, Swenzy and Joey B.
Social Media Presence
On July 16th, 2010, Watson’s official Twitter account @EmWatson was created, which received upwards of 10 million followers in the next four years. On July 19th, an official Facebook page for Watson was launched, gaining over 10 million likes in the same time frame.
Several fan sites dedicated to Emma Watson have been created, including Emma-Watson.net, I Heart Watson, Emma Watson Updates and Fuck Yeah Emma Watson. Many of the sites contain news, biographical information and media related to the actress. On November 20th, 2009, the /r/EmmaWatson subreddit was created, garnering over 52,000 subscribers in the following five years. Within two years of the creation of the /r/gentlemenboners subreddit, over 660 photographs of Watson were submitted, many of which reached the front page. As of September 2013, over 27,500 fan arts have been uploaded to the website DeviantArt under the tag “#emmawatson” (shown below).
On June 27th, 2011, YouTuber ThePortraitArt uploaded a speed drawing of Watson’s face (shown below). In the following three years, the video gathered more than 2.58 million views and 4,000 comments.
Richard Dawkins Comparison Photo
A “totally looks like” image of Richard Dawkins and Emma Watson has circulated online in which the two bear many striking similarities with one another (shown below, left). On July 11th, 2009, Redditor aescent pointed several details showing how the original images were photoshopped to create the illusion.
Emma-Watson.net – “Emma Watson”http://emma-watson.net/