Congratulations, you played yourself.

On Monday, the electropop duo YACHT faked a sex tape.

A statement on its Facebook page claimed some "morally abject individual" had leaked a recording the two had made with each other. The band mates, who have been romantically entangled since 2006, called the situation “a true and humiliating blurring of the public and private” and expressed pain at not having a choice in the video’s sharing.

Then, three hours later, they announced that in order to take control of the situation, they'd decided to sell the sex tape online for $5 a pop. By their logic, it was out there anyway, so controlling its release and distribution was a way to get a handle on the situation. Might as well make some money off a shitty situation, amiright?

Fans of the band and the generalized Internet reacted in a gush of kindness and empathy.

“To whomever violated you, let us, the people know what we can do to help,” wrote one user. “This too shall pass, and we support and love you! You have always held such integrity, you didn’t lose any of that integrity today. You were violated and victimized,” wrote another.

For a moment there, it seemed like YACHT actually was the unfortunate casualty of a cruel and unfair situation. They seemed brave for asking for help and taking control of the mess.

That’s why it was more than a little fucked when Jezebel confirmed that sex tape and its release was a hoax, nothing more than a fictional ploy to generate publicity for the band's video “I Wanna Fuck You Til I’m Dead.” There was no sex tape at all, which was more than a little disappointing, because look at them; who wouldn't pay to watch them have weird androgynous band sex? In its place was an arty, weird video on Pornhub that featured exactly zero sex at all. Pretty funny video actually, but yeah. No sex, no YACHT.

And with that news … empathy turned to outrage.

Almost instantaneously, people picked up on how massively insensitive YACHT's publicity stunt was.

“Your fake sex tape fiasco to generate PR for your band completely and totally mocks and undermines efforts to make revenge porn a serious crime, especially given the number of suicides and personal lives that have been ruined over people legitimately doing this,” wrote one Facebook user.

"We're all for artists being provocative, but not when it preys on the sympathies of people who were actually victimized and traumatized by the release of revenge porn," Factmag wrote. "Posting Facebook note about the 'leaked sex tape' asking for support is exploitative of people who trust that victims are telling the truth when they come forward. This statement reads like conflation done by people who know they made a mistake."

"By successfully getting news organizations to give coverage to this hoax, they’ve lent credence to the very real and persistent assumption that victims of sex crimes are doing it only for the attention,” Lizzie Plaugic wrote in Verge. “What Yacht did is troll people’s innate sense of horror, disgust and compassion when confronted with a terribly violating crime,” Anna Merlan wrote in Jezebel, adding, “This is one of the grossest publicity stunts I’ve ever seen.”

Bandcamp managing editor Jes Skolnik took to Twitter to articulate how the cynical PR stunt undermines the victims of sex crimes.

YACHT's PR group even seemed legitimately appalled at the stunt and denied involvement it its undertaking.

The band actually responded nobly, calling out the media's tendency to turn benign issues into malignant ones without concern for responsible reporting.

"There is one dark note we want to address. We never make light of victims of any form of sexual abuse. Frankly, it’s disturbing to us that press outlets could make the incredibly irresponsible leap from 'celebrity sex tape,' which is the cultural trope this project explicitly references, to 'revenge porn,' which is unfunny, disgusting, morally repugnant, and completely unrelated," the act said.

It wasn't completely indignant though, and the pair released an apology on the band's website:

The reaction to this endeavor highlights a glaring error we made in positioning ourselves as the victims of a leaked sex tape. We understand that positioning it that way from the beginning was an egregious mistake, and are so ashamed we hadn’t considered this beforehand.

Yes, this was all a “hoax” or “PR stunt,” and one we were so excited to share. While there is inherent deception in pulling a hoax, it was never our intention to mock or make light of anyone who has been a victim of a privacy violation like the one we mentioned. This was a lazy starting point for what we wanted to be a much more fun story about the expectations of a sex tape and the frenzy surrounding the taboo of sex, especially juxtaposed with our own non-celebrity. We failed to tell that story. Instead we told a much darker and more disturbing story.

We’ve been going back and forth on what to do about the music video this was all supposed to lead up to. We were leaning towards not releasing it at all, but we think it’s important that people be able to see and assess for themselves our intent.

We take full responsibility for what has happened, and we are truly sorry. We know we’ve broken a bond of trust with many of our fans and friends. Thank you to those that called us out and helped us to understand the gravity of the mistake we made. We should not have hinged this entire project on the fiction that we were the victims of a leaked tape, and we’re equally disappointed in ourselves for taking so long to get over being shocked at the response and write this apology.

After all is said and done, of course you should be mad at us. We’re mad at us too.

Jona & Claire

PS: We’re sorry for our shitty non-apology yesterday, too. There’s no justifying it. We clearly didn’t get it then. We get it now.

… Yeah. Well, at least there are lessons to be learned, right?

It's situations like this that highlight two very important things.

First, never underestimate the sensitivity of the Internet. Even while you may post something with no intent to cause offense, someone will find it offensive. This is either because it is offensive and you overlooked it, or because Internet people are looking for someone to troll. In YACHT's case, it was both. Their faux sex tape was actually reprehensible in light of the fact that it makes it easier for sexual abuse victims to be discredited. However, not everyone who was outraged at the stunt was in fact a sexual abuse victim, and its arguable that the virality of the negative response to it was floated by people who jumped on the Internet anger bandwagon.

Secondly, there's an art to PR stunts and hoaxes. Sexual stunts like YACHTs, however, are the lowest hanging fruit, the easiest to pull off and the easiest to create buzz about. But if you can rise above that and do something more tasteful, more cerebral, it's a different and more impactful kind of success for you.

In the end though, we are all talking about YACHT. We're all going to watch the "I Want To Fuck You 'Til I'm Dead" video, and we'll all be watching to see what they do next. That whole "any publicity is good publicity" thing is definitely true, and YACHT's sex tape scandal only proves it.

We just wish they'd release a real one. Especially since we're so good at reviewing celebrity sexcapades