Streisand Effect

Not in her wildest dreams would have Barbra Streisand imagined about having an effect named after her. But then irrational actions are known to cause irrational results.

The story goes as follows. Barbara Streisand made an attempt in 2003 to suppress the publications of photographs of her home in Malibu, California.  She filed a 50 Million USD lawsuit against photographer Kenneth Adelman and a website Pictopia (don't follow the link) for violation of privacy. 

Before her lawsuit, the photograph of her property was downloaded only 4 times from the website. As luck would go, her law suit generated immense public attention and the image was downloaded a further 420,000 times in the next one month (Purpose served or defeated?).

Needless to say, her law suit was thrown out.

To her credit, Mike Masnick of Techdirt recognized her futile attempt by coining the term - Streisand Effect. 

It is most aptly described by Wikipedia - 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. 

Such incidents have been more common in the second decade of the 21st century. You would have heard about adulterous English footballers filing injunctions to stop their affairs being made public. 

Such injunctions often garner a lot of attention and speculation (courtesy news websites, Twitter et al ) and before you know, the names of the footballer and his alleged love interest(s) is much known to the public (Remember Ryan Giggs, Imogen Thomas and Natasha Giggs).

Ryan Giggs Imogen Thomas Natasha Giggs - Streisand Effect
Ryan Giggs - Streisand Effect
Call it Streisand Effect? Or Collective Intelligence?

A similar thing happened two days ago. 

A Thai Airways Airbus 330 skidded off the runway at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport on the night of 8th Sep 2013. By God's grace, there were no fatalities.

Later, worker's of Thai Airways painted the name of the carrier on the plane with black color to prevent any untoward publicity. They were probably following the standard operating procedure recommended in such cases. 

Thai Airways - Streisand Effect
Thai Airways - Streisand Effect
Notice the black marks in the picture above.
But would it guarantee the necessary results? Streisand Effect, after all, may come into play.

P.S. Airlines, these days, are more than their names. They have an elaborate color scheme on the entire plane, making the brand easily identifiable. 

In such circumstances, does the blacking out the name of the carrier itself serve any purpose? Maybe not.

Or you can go one step further. And follow the Italians.

The Italian Job
Call it the Italian Job? Or simply a whitewash!!

Streisand Effect Streisand Effect Reviewed by Vyankatesh on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. I am visiting after a long time. Some interesting facts here. I never knew about this effect!