Threat to post nude photos of Emma Watson apparently a hoax

Online marketing firm claims was a publicity stunt

The threat made to publish nude pictures of Harry Potter star Emma Watson appears to be a hoax.

An online marketing company purporting to be behind has claimed was a publicity stunt to shut down the messageboard 4chan. The 4chan site has been the focal point of recently leaked nude photos of celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence and Rihanna following the previously reported iCloud hack.

However, the Guardian reports neither the marketing firm – nor the naked photographs of Watson – appear to exist. “Despite the site’s claim to be defending the honour of suffering “ladies”, the website Business Insider claims that itself does not exist, and is instead the work of a group of internet hoaxers called SocialVevo, whose motive is to capitalise on internet trends to gain page views.”

The online threat to reveal pictures of Watson went live hours after the actress had given a speech at the UN. She had launched the HeForShe campaign appealing for men to speak out about gender equality.

However, on Wednesday the countdown threat on was replaced by the logo “Shut down 4chan” and an open letter to President Barack Obama. It read: “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”