Top 10 most famous Streisand effects, when you do the reverse of what you want

What we call the Streisand effect comes from the American singer / actress Barbara Streisand and corresponds to the highlighting of something that we wanted to keep secret precisely because we tried too hard to keep it a secret. To give you a small example, imagine that I piss on myself in the evening, a stain is apparent on my jeans and as I wish no one would notice I walk around with a porcelain plate stuck to my crotch to hide it . Everyone will notice the trick when the task would have probably been less showy (this anecdote is fictitious eh). It’s not clear ? No problem, we’ll see other examples right away.

1. Barbara Streisand’s villa

Obviously we will start with the base, namely the first Streisand effect which gave its name to the phenomenon. Basically, in 2003, photos of Barbara Streisand’s property were taken by a photographer who in his version of the story just wanted to take pictures of the coastline. Streisand filed a complaint to prevent the footage from being released and it was precisely because of this complaint that the case became known to the general public. During the month following the complaint, nearly 420,000 people saw the photos, which would never have happened if she had simply said nothing. It’s stupid and that’s the Streisand effect.

Photo credits (CC BY-SA 3.0): Required attribution is: Copyright (C) 2002 Kenneth & Gabrielle Adelman, California Coastal

2. The Sci-Hub website and free scientific articles

This site which references scientific articles by bypassing paywalls (the fact of having to pay to read an entire article on a site) gave its users the possibility of reading a large number of various scientific studies for free. Initially, it was not really well known, but when publishers of the articles in question file a complaint for theft of intellectual property, the case comes to light and what happens? For a while, visits to the site explode. The worst part is that some scientists who wrote the articles had given their validation so that their texts could be accessed free of charge.

3. The DCRI which tries to ban a Wikipedia page

We spoke to you about it with the censored Wikipedia pages: the page of the “Pierre-sur-Haute military station” was at one point in the sights of the DCRI because obviously there was secret information. Wikipedia therefore agreed to change and remove the passages that were wrong by asking to be told which ones were problematic but the DCRI did not accept this negotiation and simply insisted on blocking the entire page. Bad luck, the opposite effect occurred since many Internet users visited the page after the outbreak of the case, being able to read all the passages considered sensitive.

Photo credits: S. RIMBAUD

4. The rumor of an affair between Anne Hidalgo and François Hollande

Starting from a simple stupid rumor a few years old, it had come to light when a law firm representing Anne Hidalgo had given Twitter notice for the platform to delete problematic tweets. Although this rumor of an affair between the two political figures existed long before the tweets affair, it was the complaint that (again) exploded the affair to the general public since the press seized it a second time. and that we talked about it even more.

5. The deleted photo of François Hollande

Since we are talking about François Hollande, he was at the heart of another Streisand effect when AFP requested the deletion of an unflattering photo. In itself the photo was nothing very incredible, it just showed Holland smiling while making a face not necessarily advantageous. But the internet took hold of the thing, people imagining that AFP had been pressured by the Élysée and inevitably the image was shared so much that it became a meme. Yeah it’s stupid when it goes like that all of a sudden.

6. The song “Only The Good Die Young” by Billy Joel

When this Joel song came out in 1977, the following lyrics instantly became a problem:

You Catholic girls start much too late, but sooner or later it comes down to fate. (But sooner or later you have to pass it) I might as well be the one. (As much as it is with me)

Billy Joel is obviously talking about sleeping with the girl “Virginia” to whom he speaks throughout the song and who is inspired by a failed youthful love of the singer. The song was banned from radio stations in the United States after pressure from religious groups but it did not help anything, it was quite the opposite. People, who wanted to know why it was banned, bought the album en masse. “The minute the song was censored on the radio, the album hit the charts,” the singer said.

7. Censorship of the film “The interview that kills”

You may remember that movie with Seth Rogen and James Franco that caused a lot of ink to flow after the simple broadcast of its trailer. In the film, the two characters found themselves going to interview Kim Jong-un (played by Randall Park) and it was precisely this part that ignited the powder. The real Kim Jong-un has asked the UN to apply sanctions to the two actors and a group of hackers hacked Sony (producer of the film) in order to steal data.

Terrorist threats from the same group were received, threatening to carry out attacks in theaters where the film would be shown. The film was therefore banned from showing in many theaters for fear of tragic events but this buzz made it known to the whole world, leading many people to obtain it (legally or illegally) to see it. If none of that had happened, the (quite forgettable) comedy probably wouldn’t have made more noise than that.

8. The cat killer insecticide

It all started from an article on a blog in which an Internet user said that she bought a flea insecticide from the Fulgator brand to get rid of critters brought back by her pets. She locks her three cats in the garage while spraying the product in her living room to kill fleas and two days later two of her cats are dead. She searches the internet and realizes that a chemical present in the insecticide (permethrin) is indeed toxic to cats but that nothing indicates it on the product.

She later said “that we laughed in her face” when she contacted the brand’s customer service and decided with her husband to go and share his experience on several forums before realizing that their messages were often deleted. She then shares her text on a blogger’s site and it quickly becomes the “3rd Google search result” by typing in the name of the brand. She then receives an email from the brand’s representatives accusing her of “product denigration” and threatening to shut down the blog, but it’s too late: the affair goes viral and is relayed by many Internet users, causing a Streisand effect. powerful.

9. The Copycomic Affair

If Copycomic was already known to point the finger at the similarities between certain sketches of French comedians and those of laughter stars from other countries, the case gained momentum when Gad Elmaleh tried to have the tweets of this blog deleted. last and obtain his identity via his IP address. It was precisely at this time that the whole country began to hear about the “copycomic affair” where it had previously only touched a small community.

10. The Roman Empire That Killed Jesus Because He Was Getting Too Popular

Wouldn’t that be the biggest Streisand effect in the world this case?

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