The Barbara Streisand Effect

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For those of you looking for Duck Sauce… here is the Barbara Streisand video. If you’ve not heard of the Streisand Effect before skip the Duck Sauce Video and keep reading. Or play the video while reading ๐Ÿ™‚

This blog has been quiet. Why? I’ve had to deal with a 17 page lawyers letter based on what has been written here. I’d like to introduce you to the Streisand Effect.

The Streisand effect is a primarily online phenomenon in which an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely. It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose attempt in 2003 to suppress photographs of her residence inadvertently generated further publicity.

Similar attempts have been made, for example, in cease-and-desist letters, to suppress numbers, files and websites. Instead of being suppressed, the information receives extensive publicity, often being widely mirrored across the Internet or distributed on file-sharing networks.

Mike Masnick of Techdirt coined the term after Streisand, citing privacy violations, unsuccessfully sued photographer Kenneth Adelman and Pictopia.com for US$50 million in an attempt to have an aerial photograph of her mansion removed from the publicly available collection of 12,000 California coastline photographs. Adelman said that he was photographing beachfront property to document coastal erosion as part of the government sanctioned and commissioned California Coastal Records Project. As a result of the case, public knowledge of the picture increased substantially; more than 420,000 people visited the site over the following month.

Here is one Example involving Ryan Giggs: In May 2011, Premier League footballer Ryan Giggs sued Twitter after an account revealed that he was the subject of an anonymised privacy injunction (informally referred to as a “super-injunction”) that prevented the publication of details regarding an alleged affair with model and former Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas. A blogger for the Forbes website observed that the British media, who were banned from breaking the terms of the injunction, had mocked the footballer for not understanding the effect. The Guardian subsequently posted a graph detailingโ€”without naming the playerโ€”the number of references to the player’s name against time, showing a large spike following the news that the player was seeking legal action.

You have to check out the other examples of the Streisand Effect on Wikipedia.

Cape Town blogger Shaun Oakes had a similar issue with a local Taxi Company. Here’s the legal perspective

Your are the first person in your social graph to know! Share it with your wwworld now ๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ