When the internet was invented by pilgrims in 1996 to sell beanie babies and GIFs of things that had less than three movements, no one could have predicted how far we'd come. Today you can watch movies, insult the stars of those movies, and get sued by those stars for insulting them. Plus the president is online when he should be working sooooo much. But there's a seedy underbelly to the internet. No, I don't mean porn. Porn is the upper belly. It's the back, really. And porn hasn't surprised anyone on the internet since 1926. No, what I'm talking about is ancillary to porn, a sidestep from perversion and a slight detour from kink. It's the internet's curious ability to organize gross filth, and by gross filth I mean gross people, into a functioning unit of weirdos who do objectionable things as a group. And they do it in greater numbers than seems entirely comforting.
In August 2014, hundreds of photos of celebrities, many of them nude and bulbous, were stolen and put online. The photos were hacked, they were private, and most of the celebrities involved expressed some serious disgust about what had happened. There were legal repercussions and a number of sites refused to show the pictures only after a public stink was raised. If you were online the day it happened, though, you may remember that people were going whole hog on that thing. Few sites, the kind that are willing to post nude photos of celebrities on any normal day at least, were pretending to have a moral stance on the issue.
No one can know how many people saw those images, how many hard drives they're saved on even today, but you can bet your ass the number is in the very high thousands. These pics went across 4chan and Reddit and hit entertainment news sites before anyone spoke out, so if someone wanted to see them, they saw them. And they called it "The Fappening."
That this event was of such significance mainstream media was forced to use a term that basically indicates some kind of upper-echelon, top-tier masturbatory spunk rally is almost baffling. Almost. But it does indicate how massive, how extensive, and disturbingly vast this network of celeb whackers must have been. This literally was a happening. With fapping.
And seriously, whose masturbation noises actually sound like "fap"?