Nude threats against Emma Watson part of meta Internet hoax
Also in Tattle: AC/DC band news, Barbra Streisand sets a record, Mike Sorrentino's records not in order.
IT'S GETTING to the point where Tattle will need to run with a disclaimer: Every juicy item, tidbit or rumor you read in today's column may be taken back in tomorrow's column.
Yesterday, we wrote that the three-breasted woman was a two-breasted hoax.
Today, it's the group who threatened to release hacked Emma Watson nude photos.
Oh, there was a threat.
But it wasn't from the hackers.
According to the website Business Insider, the threat source was Rantic Marketing, which pretended to be a viral marketing agency, but which was really a social experiment run by Internet pranksters.
Business Insider said that visitors to the fake Rantic home page were met with a message asking the government to shut down 4chan, where the leaked celebrity nudes were first posted.
"We have been hired by celebrity publicists to bring this disgusting issue to attention," said a message on Rantic.com. "The recent 4chan celebrity nude leaks in 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 [sic] be step closer to shutting down www.4chan.org.";
The grammatically incorrect note is addressed to "Dear Barack Obama," because everyone knows the president controls the Internet. That's why there are so many favorable anonymous posts about him.
As for who Rantic is, it calls itself "a social media marketing enterprise that has participated in some of the most viral campaigns and music videos."
Brad Cockingham is listed as founder and CEO, for what that's worth in the truth department.
(For the record, Tattle's founder and CEO is Ben Dover.)
So, what we have here is a fake company with conceivably a made-up CEO creating a phony threat, mimicking a real threat, of a real actress, about nude photos which may not exist, with a goal of exposing a real website that posted real nude photos of real actresses and getting the real federal government to take action against that real website, pleading for Internet censorship, which seems like the absolute last thing any Internet pranksters would want even if their intentions were noble.
Who, may we ask, would have the job of censoring the Internet with its billions of users and billion websites?
And people wonder why folks don't trust the media.
It's kind of why we think that old-fashioned news organizations and maybe even newspapers will make a comeback.
Whether you like our politics or story selection or use of photos or syntax or grammar, we're not merely bits of anonymously created, linked, shared data virtually floating in a virtual cloud. There are actual people here you can write or email (we have phones but please don't call) with kudos (ha!), disgust, tips and suggestions.
And almost all of us are trying to get it right even when the 24-hour me-first news cycle makes that more difficult than ever.
* Christopher Durang's "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" tops the list of the most produced plays nationwide during the 2014-15 season, according to the theater industry's largest trade group.
American Theatre magazine announced the list in its October issue. It omits holiday-themed shows and Shakespeare works.
Twenty-seven theaters will produce Durang's play.
The list was compiled from 404 member theaters.
* Malcolm Young is officially unplugged from AC/DC.
A statement yesterday from the band's label said: "Unfortunately, due to the nature of Malcolm's condition, he will not be returning to the band."
No details were provided.
The band announced in April that Malcolm, 61, was taking a break to focus on his health.
AC/DC will release "Rock or Bust" on Dec. 2. They will launch a world tour next year.
* Barbra Streisand, already the best-selling female recording artist ever, again made music history (a subset of actual history) with her new CD, "Partners."
"Partners" entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 1, making Streisand the only recording artist in history to have a No. 1 release in six consecutive decades.
She first landed in the top spot in October 1964 with "People."
* Former "Jersey Shore" reality star Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino has "A Situation."
He and his brother Marc underpaid taxes on nearly $9 million in income over the past several years, the U.S. Attorney's Office charged in a seven-count indictment released yesterday.
In addition to allegedly understating their income, the brothers also allegedly claimed millions in bogus business expenses.
Sorrentino was set to appear in an upcoming reality show set in his family's tanning salon. Maybe now it'll be set in the slammer.
- Daily News wire services
contributed to this report.
On Twitter: @DNTattle