What is the Streisand Effect

Lexicon of film terms

Streisand effect

If exactly the opposite is achieved through the attempt to suppress information and the information is thereby made particularly well known, one speaks of Streisand effect. It owes its name to Barbara Streisand, who unsuccessfully sued photographer Kenneth Adelman and the Pictopia.com website for $ 50 million in 2003 because an aerial view of her home was among 12,000 other photos of the California coast on said website. In doing so, however, she first established the connection between herself and the building shown, whereupon the photo spread on the Internet according to the snowball principle. Adelman later claimed he photographed the beachfront property to document coastal erosion for the California Coastal Records Project. The seemingly paradoxical effect is possibly based on the systemic fact that from some perspectives the Internet is comparable to a regenerative organism and interprets the suppression of content as a disruption that needs to be repaired. In a special case, however, the effect does not arise automatically, but is the sum of a multitude of targeted and conscious actions by many individuals, out of curiosity or conviction, for example to actively combat censorship.


Article last changed on 03/02/2012


Author: W


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