The Streisand effect, attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information

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Streissand effect

By : Con ODomhnaill

The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet.

It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose 2003 attempt to suppress photographs of her residence in Malibu, California, inadvertently drew further public attention to it.

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 and media extensions such as videos and spoof songs, often being widely mirrored across the Internet or distributed on file-sharing networks.

Matt Cooper on Today FM’s Last Word reminded Denis O’Brien’s mouthpiece James Morrissey of this phenomenon today.

Poor James had never heard of it, but James and Dinny might do well to study the Streisand effect over the weekend.