TheFappening or ‘Celebgate’ shocked the world of celebrity when it exposed the private photographs stored on Apple’s iCloud platform in 2014. For years, famous actors, models and influencers alike have been targeted with hackers reportedly able to penetrate their servers and access nude images and videos. From Jennifer Lawrence to Kate Upton, here we look at what happened in TheFappening scandal and what it meant for those affected.
The original source of the hack remains a mystery – although there are several theories – but a mass collection of naked photos of stars including Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian West, Kate Upton and Kirsten Dunst were quickly released online. This was actually the second wave of attacks, with similar iCloud accounts infiltrated in 2011 by a hacker known as Christopher Chaney.
At first TheFappening went completely unnoticed by the public until 4chan user ‘OriginalGuy’ noticed some similarities between these celebrity photos and ones he had seen before. On August 31st 2014 OriginalGuy released a post saying “many of these celebrities are WAKE UP people!!! Turns out they don’t know how to secure their accounts properly… Here you go… RESULT: MEGA LINK WITH PHOTOS BELOW!!!!!!” with links to all of the hacked images attached.
Within days news outlets had also picked up on the story and soon after celebrities began speaking out about their shock that someone had accessed such intrusive photos from their iCloud accounts without their permission. Reddit attempted to censor posts containing these images due to privacy concerns, yet this only managed to fan the flames further since threads such as ‘Celeb Jihad’ continued to circulate them regardless creating an even bigger stir around ‘The Fappening’.
The revelation raised questions about internet data security but most importantly focused attention onto how female celebrities’ bodies can be objectified by strangers online against their will – this became known as revenge porn or non-consensual pornography (NCP). What is particularly alarming is that despite laws being passed to make NCP illegal in some countries (e.g UK), it still continues today whether via social media networks or through Private Message Boards on forums like 4chan & Reddit!
Since its inception TheFappening has been met with disgust and anger from both victims who were violated in such an extreme way as well as millions of fans who rally behind them in support – showing that no matter how difficult or invasive attacking somebody will never be an option for us all! Despite these repercussions however many websites have continued publishing new leaks throughout 2020 proving that hacking into celebrities accounts remain one crime worth perpetrating!
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