We've discussed in the past the concept of the Streisand Effect -- where someone sues someone to keep some action or information quiet, and the exact opposite happens. The act of suing helps generate much more attention. While the term has spread within certain circles since we first coined it (and there was even a newspaper that wrote an article about it last year), it's not surprising that many people still haven't heard of it. What is surprising, though, is that people still believe that suing someone for what they do on the internet is an effective way to get less attention on something. The latest situation takes place in Maine, where a blogger has been criticizing efforts being made by the state and an ad agency for a new tourism campaign. The agency has now sued the guy for his comments on a blog. They pull out the usual charges of copyright infringement (for showing some sketches that they, themselves, had put online) and defamation... for him giving his opinion that the state was wasting taxpayer money. However, the real kicker is the statement the head of the ad agency made to the Boston Globe: "I don't think his real mission here is to get answers for the taxpayers of the state. One of the things he wants to do is to get attention." So, he was upset that his ad agency was being called out for doing a bad job when it was on a blog, but he has no problem having a reporter print that fact in a major daily newspaper in a big city? It would seem that a lot more people now know that his firm has been accused of doing a dreadful job then when it was just some random blogger criticizing them.
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