Earlier this week, we reported that actress Emma Watson was being threatened with a nude photo leak as a result of a speech she recently gave at the United Nations.
The threats were posted on the photo-sharing site 4Chan, which had previously hosted stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence, as well as the dozens of other female celebrities who were affected by the Hollywood hacking scandal.
Today, we learned that the whole thing was a carefully coordinated stunt by a company called Rantic Marketing.
The website EmmaYouAreNext.com - which had previously featured a clock counting down the seconds until Watson's hacked photos would be posted online - now simply redirects to Rantic's homepage.
Even more ridiculous than the capaign itself is Rantic's strategy for justifying its actions:
Currently (and hilariously), the company's site features a letter addressed to President Obama that begins, "We have been hired by celebrity publicists to help bring this disgusting issue to attention...Every Facebook like, share, and Twitter mention will count as a social signature."
Wow! Now you can get involved and all you have to do is help promote this incredibly shady marketing firm!
Naturally, Rantic is refusing to identify their "employers," but they've been happy to share statistics about how easily they were able to drum up interest in stolen nudity.
Apparently, EmmaYouAreNext.com received over 48 million visitors in just a matter of days, so you may want to consider hiring Rantic next time you have a young feminist to terrorize.
Rantic has yet to make make an argument as to how anyone but them stood to benefit from this stunt, but we're sure to position themselves as the good guys.
As far as we can tell, all they've accomplished is establishing "It was a hoax! Gotcha!" as a viable excuse for anyone threatening to post hacked photos of a celebrity.