What is ‘The Streisand Effect’?

CC Via Flickr

If youâ??ve not heard of this phenomenon before, itâ??s not goosebumps whilst listening to Barbra Streisand.

The phrase was coined after a lawsuit involving the singer. The story goes something like this: Barbra Streisand got wind that a photographer had snapped her beachside home and triedâ?? unsuccessfully â?? to sue him for $50m.

The plan backfired epically, when the image, that had been downloaded only 6 times prior to reports of the case, was downloaded 420,000 in the next month! So, where information is censored, sometimes it has the effect of making it even more publically known.
There are some really obvious examples that youâ??ll have heard about â?? that Welsh football player and Imogen whatshername from Big Brother and all the other Super Injunctions that celebrities took out to hide things that everyone knew about.
Here are some more obscure ones:

Book Burning, Wisconsin style.

Bizarrely, this kind of thing still goes on. In their own take on the â??Bonfire of the Vanitiesâ??, a group of concerned citizens in Wisconsin have been petitioning their local library for permission to burn a certain â??Baby Be-Bopâ?? book about a gay teenager. And casually throwing in a $120,000 lawsuit for â??exposureâ?? to such a book. A calm, rational local said, “We will have demonstrations if they don’t remove it,” he said. “It has to be out of the library. If that doesn’t happen, I will be out there burning.” This story made it onto ABC News, with visitor numbers to the library soaring. The main petitioner said that if fire regulations prevented the burning of the book, heâ??d be just as happy if they â??buried it, ripped it up or shredded itâ?. See? Theyâ??re not totally unreasonable folk in Wisconsin. It wonâ??t surprise you to learn that this town also tried to ban the Harry Potter books. Apparently they have the stake at the ready in case Emma Watson drops by.

CC Via Flickr

Madchester Cathedral

In 2007 Sony management received a telephone call (we assume, or a memo, or an email?) to say that The Church of England (yes, that one) was trying to sue them for the inclusion of a cathedral in their PS3 game â??Resistance: Fall of Manâ?. Itâ??s a violent game and the cathedral featured was called Mangester Cathedral. Mangester?? Isnâ??t that up the road from Liderpool and a bit further south than Chewcastle? The Church wanted an apology, which they got. They also wanted Sony to remove the game from shops. It didnâ??t. The publicity on the back of this alliterative mishap has helped make this game one of the most successful PS3 exclusive games of all time.

And finallyâ?¦ Never Seconds

When 9 year old Martha Payne, from Argyll, Scotland, started her blog about her school dinners no-one couldâ??ve expected much interest. After all, school dinners arenâ??t that interesting, and her rating system of healthiness, how many mouthfuls it takes to eat, pieces of hair doesnâ??t sound particularly enthralling. With TVâ??s cheflebrity Jamie Oliver endorsing it as â??shocking but inspirationalâ?? it soon became a big hit. The local council decided it wasnâ??t on, however, and banned her blog. The press had a field day with this and critics lamented the councilâ??s pathetic grasp on the power of social networking. The ban was soon overturned and Martha and friends have overhauled the local school meals and gone on to raise £113,000 for Maryâ??s Meals â?? feeding children in Africa. So, censorship backfired but led to great things. Everyoneâ??s a winner.
CC Via Flickr

Looking to invoke your own Streisand effect? Check out server hosting from 34sp.com



    • Hahaha what douches. Can’t sue someone for putting your building in a game and than adding demons Lol. That’s like me suing TimeSplitters 2 (Back to the Future) for including my building. In the future. With an orange. :Who-s-the-man:

Leave a Reply