The Dark History Of Celebrity Photo Hacks

Emma Watson and Amanda Seyfried are in the news, and it’s not for their March movies Beauty and the Beast and The Last Word.

Unfortunately, Watson and Seyfried’s privacy has been compromised, thanks to the work of online hackers. In a stunt coined “The Fappening 2,” the supposed sequel to August 2014’s massive photo leak, multiple nude celebrity photos are currently being disseminated across the internet.

This recent hack eerily coincides with the release of an alleged sex tape featuring actress Mischa Barton. With such egregious affronts to privacy becoming commonplace, it’s clear that women celebrities are being especially targeted by hackers and trolls. But how much do you know about the history of such attacks?

Jillian Murray

From 4Chan to legal responses, here’s timeline of the forces at work behind such disturbing violations.

Since we’ll be venturing into the depths of the web, here are some terms that will help you follow along.

4chan: 4Chan is the lawless meme-machine of the internet. In addition to pioneering memes and internet cultural trends like Rickrolling, 4chan has generated hoaxes, cyberbullying incidents, and pranks. Part of 4chan’s tendency toward deviousness stems from the fact that, unlike with Reddit, there’s no need to make a username, and no way to message others in 4chan — hence creating an atmosphere of anything-goes anonymity.

Amanda Seyfried

Reddit: The so-called “front page of the internet,” Reddit is essentially a giant democratic forum in which information is shared through a series of “subreddits,” pages based around specific topics. Reddit is the chatter of people talking, meeting, and sharing stuff on the internet.

Fappening: A portmanteau of the words “fap” (masturbating) and “happening.” Also known as “Celebgate.”

iCloud: Apple’s online storage system, where many of the leaked photos were obtained.


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