Emma Watson urges UN to back feminism – trolls threaten to leak her 'nude selfies'
Which rather proves her point
At the weekend, actress Emma Watson gave a well-argued and reasoned speech to the UN calling for better relations between the sexes.
And lo, internet trolls appear to have set up a website threatening to release nude photographs of the Harry Potter star.
The site, www.emmayouarenext.com, features a 4chan logo, a badly rendered snap of Watson apparently crying, and a countdown clock with about three and a half days left to run. Anonymous comments on a moron-infested 4chan.org board said Watson's nude pictures would be leaked online when the countdown reaches zero.
It's likely the dotcom is a hoax, perhaps set up by bored board kids – there's no evidence Watson has even taken such images, and it wouldn't be the first time someone online has falsely claimed to have celebrity nudes. But given the spate of thefts from Apple's iCloud of famous actresses' private photos, it's not inconceivable the threats may be carried out.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, trolls are tweeting #RIPemmawatson to push bogus reports that the talented British actress has shuffled off this mortal coil.
The apparent trolls' actions merely prove Watson's point. In her speech, given under the auspices of her role as a UN Goodwill Ambassador, she expressed support for the HeForShe campaign, an organization set up to promote equality between the sexes, and said feminism wasn't a force of dividing the sexes but for bringing them together.
"Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals," she said [PDF].
"If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are — we can all be freer and this is what HeForShe is about. It's about freedom."
Such differences are highlighted by the threats against Watson. After all, George Clooney has spoken to the UN about genocide in South Sudan, and no one's threatening to put naked pictures of him online.
Watson's speech earned her a standing ovation at the UN, although it was interesting to see how the mainstream press treated her comments. The right-wing tabloid Daily Mail began its coverage of Watson's speech by noting her fashion choices, for example, while the Daily Star's front page ran with a story that nudes of Watson had been stolen (and a piece about a woman with three breasts that's probably a TV hoax).
When compromising pics of fellow thespians were swiped from Apple iCloud drives, Watson was clear in her view that the leaks said much more about the people viewing and commenting on the stolen snaps than those appearing in the images.
Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated on social media is reading the accompanying comments that show such a lack of empathy.— Emma Watson (@EmWatson) September 1, 2014
It's interesting to note that after the first bout of celebrity nude thefts, Reddit and 4chan banned their display on their message boards. Any release of Ms Watson's private pictures will only add weight to the calls for other sites to follow suit. ®
Updated to add
It turns out the trolls are, in fact, a marketing company. It claims 48 million visitors hit the emmayouarenext.com site.