Definition of the Noun ‘Streisand Effect’
- A phenomenon in which attempting to suppress an item of information attracts even more unwanted attention, thus furthering its dissemination.
From Wiktionary https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Streisand_effect
The ‘Streisand Effect’ is a well known cultural and social media phenomenon where attempts to divert people from a piece of information has the opposite effect and instead encourages people to search for such data. The term was coined earlier this century to describe how the singer and actress Barbara Streisand’s attempts to hide pictures of her mansion merely alerted people that this information was out there and Ms Streisand was attempting to suppress it.
Since the original incident that gave birth to this term it has been applied to numerous other cases where individuals or organisations have tried to suppress or hide information. For example: We saw this with the one of the ‘Superinjuction’ cases, where the mere fact that a famous footballer had tried to hide from the press his sexual misdemeanour’s with women who were not his wife, encouraged people to try to find out who was the subject of the court injunction. Thee footballer who brought the privacy injunction, Ryan Giggs, was eventually named in the House of Commons by an MP using Parliamentary Privilege and also by private individuals on the internet who had been monitoring the non-UK press which was not covered by the UK court injunction.
You would think, wouldn’t you that with all that is known about the Streisand Effect, the British government at least be aware of it. Unfortunately for the government, it seems not.
Her Majesty’s Government is going to spend £60 million of our money on target so called ‘far right extremism’ online. They are paying this enormous sum of money to an advertising agency, Saatchi and Saatchi to ‘counter far right and extreme right narratives’. In effect the government are spending taxpayer’s money on policing the opinions voiced and even read by British subjects.
In particular this new project will go after readers of the conservative media outlet Breitbart. However, I suspect that the project will not go according to plan, because of the ‘Streisand Effect’. The reason for believing this will be the case is as follows: Firstly there are a great number of people who are not politically engaged and who are completely unaware that Breitbart even exists. The government banging on about ‘Breitbart this and Breitbart that’ will only increase the number of people in the UK who will be aware that this outlet exists. Some may hate it but there may be many more who like it. Others may be like myself who do not agree with every word published by Breitbart but who consider it a damn sight more reliable than other outlets such as the BBC.
A good analogy to what may happen if the Govt go big with an attack on Breitbart can be found with the disturbing ‘scat and vomit’ porn video ‘Two Girls One Cup’ (no I’m not linking to it). When this video appeared it was condemned by some and called disgusting, but the mere fact that there was a furore growing up around it, encouraged a number of people to look for this video just to see how bad it was. The video even spawned its own internet meme of video footage showing people’s faces when they viewed the video for the first time. I believe that the aura of ‘shock horror’ about this video was a significant factor in it spreading worldwide.
I can foresee a similar thing happening viz a viz Brietbart if the government and its contractors such as Saatchi and Saatchi take on Breitbart. It could be that attacking Breitbart could have the effect of making Breitbart more popular in the UK. What I predict may happen is that Saatchi and Saatchi run a campaign, either an overt one or something more subtle, which slags of Breitbart and calls them liars or ‘Alt Right’ or some other ‘snarl word’. This will have the perverse effect of increasing the awareness of Breitbart among those who have never even heard of it. The article in the Times of London recently, which has been quoted in part by Breitbart London themselves, stating that Breitbart readers will be targeted on social media by the government, possibly for some sort of ‘re-education’ or maybe targeted trolling by government operatives or contractors. This will piss people off and I reckon that these government trolls are going to find themselves publicly mocked and possibly exposed by people who feel that their right to read publications such as Breitbart are being infringed.
Here’s part of the Breitbart article on how their readers are being singled out for attack by the government.
The UK government is to pay an advertising giant, which campaigned against Brexit, £60 million to fight so-called “far right” extremism online, including “going against people who read Breitbart”.
Government sources revealed the plans to The Times, explaining how the Home Office aims to counter “far-right and extreme right-wing narratives” by working with Saatchi and Saatchi.
So-called “anti-hate speech experts” said the government department will effectively wage a propaganda war on the “alt-right” across social media, specifically said to include Breitbart readers.
“They are going against people who read Breitbart and stuff like that, the conspiratorial media. They want people to be critical about what they read,” the insider said.
The extent of the planned campaign was disclosed by Whitehall sources in response to documents uncovered by Freedom of Information Act requests, The Times explains.
This policy is going to cause an almighty row and the overspill from this will be that many ordinary decent Britons will be intrigued by this Breitbart thing that everyone seems to be talking about and will go and take a look. They will then find that far from being an analogue of The Daily Stormer, Breitbart is merely a conservative publication saying some stuff, such as criticisms of the ‘refugees welcome’ guff, that they themselves may be saying to their mates down the pub.
Targeting Brietbart in this way could produce an incident of ‘The Streisand Effect’ on a governmental scale with normal people becoming funnelled towards Breitbart because of the fuss surrounding them. The government could find themselves bitten on the arse with this one as it is an example of a clumsy attempt at censorship of views that the government and their so-called “anti-hate speech experts” not like. At this point I do wonder just who these ‘anti-hate speech experts’ are? I do hope that they are not in any way similar to the mountebanks of the Tell Mama organisation, who are also disgracefully still lavished with public funding largesse despite being a bunch of frauds.
I predict that in the period after the government goes to war against Breitbart, then this outlet will gain a whole load more readers. It could be boom time for Brietbart in the UK and the fault for that will lie solely with the government and its desire to control what people say and on what subjects they may speak about.
Original story about this new government attempt to control speech from Breitbart
A time line of the Ryan Giggs court injunction case
Here’s some so-called ‘hate crime’ experts who I would not trust to tell me if it was raining outside