The Jennifer Lawrence Leak: Who Is at Risk Now?

September 2, 2014 2:44 PM

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How does one describe 4Chan? Once an anime-themed image-sharing Web site, 4Chan has become a home for all sorts of graphic, disturbing, and offensive images and—as David Kushner writes in this week’s magazine—a breeding ground for the anarchic pranksters who helped to form the hacker group Anonymous. On Sunday, a 4Chan user (or, more likely, a group of users—details are still unclear) added another entry to the site’s troubling litany when, after some haggling for Bitcoin payments, he or she uploaded a large cache of celebrities’ private images, including nude photographs of the actress Jennifer Lawrence and the model Kate Upton.

The leak made it to the link-sharing site Reddit around dinnertime, where it found an audience in the hundreds of thousands. It also found a name—the Fappening. (“Fap” means masturbate.) Reddit is divided into communities called subreddits, which spring up more or less organically. By midnight on th...

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