Streisand effect

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California Coastal Records Project photo of coastline including Streisand Estate (2002).


Coined in 2005 by Mike Masnick, after a 2003 incident in which singer Barbra Streisand attempted to have a picture of her house removed from a public collection of 12,000 images documenting coastal erosion in California.[1][2][3]


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈstɹaɪ.sænd əˌfɛkt/
  • (file)


Streisand effect (plural Streisand effects)

  1. A phenomenon in which attempting to suppress an item of information attracts even more unwanted attention, thus furthering its dissemination.
    • 2009, John W. Dozier, Sue Scheff, Google Bomb: The Untold Story of the $11.3M Verdict That Changed the Way We Use the Internet, HCI, →ISBN, page 40:
      No matter how effective your rebuttal may seem to be to you, a response will "bump" the problem into greater prominence and relevance in the search engine results, which then turns your headache into a migraine. This is doubly dangerous since "bumping" the negative information potentially introduces the "Streisand Effect" into the equation, which is something to avoid if at all possible. It is commonly defined as a phenomenon in which an attempt to censor or remove a piece of information on the web backfires, causing greater publicity.
    • 2009, Kyle Lacy, Twitter Marketing For Dummies, For Dummies, →ISBN, page 215:
      Say you discover that people aren't just talking about you, they're bashing you. Should you step in and try to stop them? Again, the answer is absolutely no! Leave them alone – you'll only make the problems worse and create a Streisand Effect if you try to hush them up.
    • 2009 September 11, Jim Emerson, “Teaching the controversy”, Scanners, in Chicago Sun-Times[4], archived from the original on 15 September 2009:
      But that hasn't stopped Beck's lawyers from trying to shut down the site -- resulting in more blowback and another manifestation of the dreaded Streisand Effect!
    • 2010 December 17, K Vaidya Nathan, “Beware the Streisand effect”, in The Indian Express[5], The Indian Express Limited, retrieved 2012-10-29:
      Though, the action of the US government was intended to suppress the leaks, the ‘Streisand effect’ made sure that the outcome was exactly the opposite. People all over the world, who hadn’t even heard of the Website, were typing on their keyboards only to find a site-unavailable message, which increased their curiosity. People sympathetic to WikiLeaks, in the meantime, had voluntarily mirrored the website in order to keep it online.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mario Cacciottolo (June 15, 2012), “The Streisand Effect: When censorship backfires”, in BBC News[1], BBC, retrieved October 29, 2012
  2. ^ Mike Masnick (January 5, 2005), “Since When Is It Illegal To Just Mention A Trademark Online?”, in techdirt: Legal Issues[2], retrieved October 29, 2012
  3. ^ Milo Yiannopoulos (January 31, 2009), “What is 'The Streisand Effect'?”, in The Daily Telegraph[3], Telegraph Media Group Limited, archived from the original on 2011-04-03

Further reading[edit]