A threat to release naked photos of "Harry Potter" star Emma Watson turned out to be a prank by a hoax group.
On Monday, a website "EmmaYouAreNext.com" was created after Watson's UN speech at the UN on gender equality went viral on social media.
The website featured a photo of the British actress and a countdown clock, which reportedly indicated that the nude images of Watson would be published on 27 September.
It was believed that the hackers are releasing the images in response to her gender equality speech. Several users also commented on the 4Chan website, where Hollywood celebs nude images were leaked, criticising the actress for her speech.
But apparently it turned out that the whole 'Watson nude images' issue was just publicity stunt by a Rantic Marketing company. The website "EmmaYouAreNext.com" now directs to rantic.com which says that it was created to ban 4Chan site.
The company also wrote a letter to US president Barack Obama asking him to ban the photo-sharing site 4Chan for publishing pictures of Hollywood celebrities including actor Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian, Gabrielle Union, Rihanna and Kirsten Dunst in compromising position.
The company claims that the "EmmaYouAreNext.com" went viral and reached over to 48 million visitors, received 7 million Facebook shares and was mentioned on Twitter 3 million times worldwide.
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. "
However, the company, which posted the countdown clock could be fake. According to Reuters, no media outlets were able to get in touch with the company owner directly.
Business Insider also claims that the website rantic.com does not exist and it is apparently a social experiment run by a gang of pranksters on the internet.
Just like Watson's countdown, rantic.com is another prank that was created to fool people, Business Insider reported.