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The “Emma Watson Leaked Images” Threat Was A Hoax, A Ridiculous Ploy By A Marketing Firm!

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By Dhruv Arora:

A few days ago, Emma Watson delivered a game-changing speech at the UN #HeForShe launch event. Emma spoke about feminism and why it is important for all genders to understand the concept and support gender equality. The speech was widely appreciated and praised, but came under immediate heat when news started circulating that a user of the infamous 4chan website, where the initial celebrity nudes were leaked, had issued an open threat to leak Emma Watson’s nude pictures if she continued to speak up about feminism. The gravity of this threat was quite high, considering similar nudes had already been leaked from 4chan. This resulted in a massive uproar across the internet and it seemed like a majority of the internet was standing with Emma Watson against this ridiculous threat. A website by the name of emmayouarenext.com was launched, undoubtedly by the people who issued this threat, with a countdown to when the nudes will be leaked.

Emma Watson  UN speech

Turns out, the entire thing was a hoax,  a ploy by a marketing firm that I refuse to name in this article.

You can, of course, find out about the firm in question quite easily by visiting the now-defunct website (that now redirects to their own website). The website, that was initially launched as the threat, now carries a laughable banner that talks about how the entire idea was to “raise awareness” about how problematic 4chan is (irony, oh sweet irony). Another banner on the firm’s website brags about how many visits and social media mentions they got (shown below). They are now appealing to the public to message the White house about shutting down 4chan. Because, you know, the firm is ethical and stuff.

emmayouarenext

The very fact that these marketing firms think they can actually get away with something as ridiculous as this is testament to how idiotic they seem to think the internet is. Let me break it down for you: they actually released a threat to Emma Watson about releasing her nude pictures, put up a countdown on a website to garner publicity, and then redirected that website to their personal website after it had garnered millions of hit. They did all this to raise a voice against how unethical it was of 4chan to release nude pictures, hoping to come out of this entire debacle as the saviours of these poor woman while actually issuing a real threat to a real person. Take a moment to let it sink in how absolutely ridiculous it is.

I’m not entirely sure, but I have a feeling (and honestly, I hope) this might even qualify as a threat under law, and should attract legal charges.

The absurdity of how morally bankrupt this particular firm seems to be is not the only problem with this entire fiasco. A bigger, much more easily ignored problem that this brings up is the idea that they considered, as many other people do, that the biggest threat to a woman would be a threat to her sexuality. This idiotic firm actually believed that the best way to ‘expose’ 4chan (read: promote their own brand) was by issuing a threat to a woman targeting her privacy and sexuality is absolutely ridiculous.

I genuinely hope that the internet calls them out on the ridiculousness of this entire nonsensical scheme ultimately targeted at self-promotion, and they do not get away with this apologetic pseudo-moralistic garbage.

UPDATE: It seems that the “marketing firm” in question is fake as well. A gang of internet spammers that call themselves Social VEVO came up with this entire thing. The best way to sum this discussion up would be how The AV Club puts it:

“So in summation: A group of viral “pranksters” used Emma Watson’s speech to manufacture a fake threat of retaliation, one that was meant to stoke outrage aimed at the sort of people who regularly victimize women on the Internet–all by actually victimizing a woman on the Internet. (But you know, in a “prankster” way.)”

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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