Who Is This Hacker 4chan? How The Phrase Came About  

The Fappening was an event that shocked the whole world. Private videos and photos belonging to top celebrities flooded the internet. The incident didn’t go down well with fans, nonfans, and even the government. The FBI even got involved in the case. 

With the help of the security agency, all the perpetrators got caught. But then, who committed the horrible crime? It was Ryan Collins and four other hackers. 

However, the incident wasn’t the only thing that caught the attention of the public. How CNN reported, the incident got a lot of people cracking. 

Now, let’s revisit the phrase. 

Who is this hacker 4chan?

Who’s this hacker 4chan is a meme. But then, it comprises various memes and stems from the Fappening that took place in August 2014. The name “4chan” belongs to a website. It’s a website and not an individual.

CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin gave rise to the phrase. Then people started making a mockery of the event, The Fappening. Brooke literally asked, “Who’s this 4chan?” It was evident that she views 4chan as a person rather than a website. 

Keep reading to get more details on this topic. 

Why Was The ‘Who Is This 4chan’ Comment By Brooke Hilarious? 

Ordinarily, the incident, “The Fappening” required a sober reflection. People’s privacy got invaded, and they are people the society sees as role models. They also have a reputation to protect and a career to keep on galvanizing. 

Exposing their nudes, which is supposed to be a private picture, was a massive blow to their personality. But Brooke Baldwin’s comment made the incident fun without even knowing. What made it more hilarious and, at the same time shocking, was the fact that 4chan was a popular platform. 

How could a media house as reputable and highly-placed as CNN not know that 4chan is a website and not a person? Brooke’s act means one thing. The mainstream media are only focused on covering the latest news. They always want to be the first to report it. 

The top media houses around the globe don’t do proper homework before covering events. They display poor or low internet literacy time and time again. But the reverse should be the case. 

It was during Brooke Baldwin’s show that she asked, “Who is this 4chan?” Later on, the phrase became viral. It gave rise to hundreds of memes.   

What Gave Rise To The Comment “Who Is This 4Chan.”

It all began after The Fappening; an event where nudes belonging to celebrities got posted online. The hackers shared the private photographs on 4Chan, an image-based platform. On 4Chan, anyone can share images or comment on media files shared by others anonymously. 

When news outlets got wind that private images of celebrities were all over 4Chan, they began their usual routine of reporting without verifying the facts. A report (which no longer exists online) from MTV, the Australian branch, described the hacker as 4Chan. 

To the media house, or individual that used the phrase, the hacker’s name is called 4Chan. They didn’t bother to verify the name, which was a big mistake and embarrassment. However, the error later got corrected to “the hacker from 4Chan.” But then, the deed has already been done.  

How did the hacker 4chan phrase go viral? Many 4Chan users and people who know about the platform created several memes off the “who is this hacker 4Chan” comment. The memes got shared on the site 4Chan by users. Many of the 4Chan users started hilariously asking who the site was. 

The 4Chan Hackers That Leaked Private Images Of Celebrities

The Fappening that took place in 2014, precisely late August, is one the affected celebrities, fans, and the entire world would not forget in a hurry. It was devastating for those affected to wake up to the news that their nude pictures are all over the internet. 

Nothing can take away the embarrassment. But the only good news was that the individuals involved had been identified and arrested. At least, that should bring some comfort to those affected, though it won’t fix the damage already done.  

Below are the names of individuals involved and the role they played. 

Ryan Collins:

Collins appears to be the first name among the hackers fingered in the celebgate incident. He was one of the five persons arrested and sentenced for possession and distribution of private photographs of various notable personalities. 

According to Ryan’s confession, he had over a hundred passwords belonging to prominent individuals. Ryan got the passwords via phishing techniques. He usually sends his targets emails, claiming he’s representing Google or Apple.

Many celebrities were victims to Ryan Collin’s phishing trick. Collins had in possession 72 Gmail and 50 iCloud accounts. He also reported that he received some photographs by claiming that the images were for modeling purposes. 

Did Ryan plead guilty? Yes, he did and got his sentence reduced. He got a 28 months sentence in prison. Another exciting development about Collin’s conviction is that evidence showing that the 36-years-old Collins committed the crime hasn’t been discovered yet. 

Christopher Brannan:

Christopher also played a part in the hacking for which celebrity Jennifer Lawrence was affected. Before his arrest, Christopher was a Virginia high school teacher, though he quitted his job long before. 

Christopher hacked into his victim’s accounts by providing answers to security questions set by the original account owner. He did so by curbing the victim’s Facebook accounts for clues, which he did stumble upon some of the time. 

Before he went to prison, Christopher Brannan made a shocking revelation. The 31-year-old claimed that he was highly addicted to porn. And that he was suffering from depression and anxiety. 

Did Christopher Brannan plead guilty? Yes, he did and was sentenced to 34 months in prison. 

Emilio Herrera:

Emilio is another hacker that got arrested. He was among those that did access the victims’ accounts. But what kept Emilio from receiving a higher sentence is that he didn’t distribute the photographs. 

However, his actions did land him in trouble. Emilio got a 16 months sentence that started in March 2018. 

George Garofano:

George of Connecticut, 26-years of age, also got punished by the government. He was one of the hackers who hacked into over 250 iCloud accounts belonging to top celebrities. 

Eventually, George pleaded guilty to accessing the accounts unauthorized. His sentence was just eight months in prison. 

Edward Majerczyk:

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Edward was another culprit in the celebgate incident. He not only received a nine months prison sentence. Edward was also asked to pay $5,700. The money requested was to cover the bills for counseling.    


Who is this hacker 4Chan? In all honesty, this phrase is quite hilarious. 4Chan isn’t a person but a platform where people share and comment on images anonymously. It was lousy reportage on Brooke’s part. She didn’t do her homework properly, as expected. 

Media houses need to do proper homework before covering events. If they had done that, the 4Chan incident wouldn’t have occurred.

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