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"?
When, where, and how else in mankind's history could such a disturbing invasion of privacy with a follow-up wank celebration ever occur? And how is it that such a thing can gain such mainstream acceptance? That we all saw this occurring and said "oh yeah, lots of mega masturbators on the ol' internet." Obviously we didn't all support it, many people viewed it as a huge invasion of privacy and rightly so, but we weren't surprised by it. And shouldn't we be? Imagine you're Jennifer Lawrence. You're trying to be an X-Man, you don't want people to pay too close attention to the plot of Passengers, and one day your nude photos are in the hands of every dentist whose upper lip was just a little too sweaty when he made you open your mouth so he could suck your spit out. That is super fucked up. To know thousands of people have seen you naked and, in celebration of this invasion, they refer to it with a cute portmanteau that reaffirms that they mashed their penises a few times with you in mind.