A striking magazine cover featuring nearly three dozen women who have accused comedian Bill Cosby of sexual assault had social media buzzing Monday — even after it was taken offline by a hacking attack.
Images of the 35 women, who range in age from their early 20s to their 80s, are shown together on the cover of New York magazine, along with an empty chair for the women who aren’t pictured.
The cover prompted myriad reactions online when it was published Monday.
A hacker took the website offline for 10 hours after the article was posted, although he insists it had nothing to do with the cover, the Daily Dot reported.
A self-described hacker called ThreatKing, who says he hates New York City, claims he has successfully overwhelmed the site with a distributed denial-of-service attack, overloading its servers with traffic. As of this writing, New York is completely inaccessible.
A New York magazine employee, who spoke to The Daily Dot on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the attack, said they assumed the site was on the receiving end of a DDoS attack.
But it’s not an attempt to silence the 35 women who have come forth to describe their alleged assault, nor the magazine that pieced their story together, ThreatKing said. Instead, he claimed, this stems entirely from his dislike of New York City, which he extends to magazines that share its name.
“Many stupid people at [sic] New York,” ThreatKing told The Daily Dot over a Skype chat. “I have not even seen the cover, LOL,” he said.
On Twitter the picture prompted the hashtag #TheEmptyChair with users talking about the victims of rape.
Every single time discussions of sexual assault show up on the TL, I’m reminded of why I didn’t report mine. #TheEmptyChair
— Maca Flocka Flame (@steenfox) July 27, 2015
I am not damaged goods. I am damaged, but I am still good. You are still good. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. #TheEmptyChair
— Ella Cerón (@ellaceron) July 27, 2015
#theemptychair symbolizes that for every woman that can come forward, there are many more who can’t. Very moving.
— Elle Ess (@ViaMarsala18) July 27, 2015
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