Streisand Effect For Make Benefit Alcohol Vaporizers, Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan

from the will-they-ever-learn dept

The Streisand Effect -- when efforts to shut down or ban something merely call more attention to it and make it far more popular -- is alive and well: The Wall Street Journal has the story of a company that makes alcohol inhalers, some sort of device that lets people breathe in alcoholic drinks rather than, uh, drink them. The devices weren't selling at all, and the company had no money to market them -- until a Kentucky legislator tried to get the devices banned, sending sales through the roof. There's little evidence that the machines are any more harmful than just drinking alcoholic beverages, nor is there any evidence that anybody in Kentucky had actually bought one, but no matter. The legislator somehow determined these things were a threat to public health and safety, causing a firestorm of media attention, which led to efforts by people in other states to have them banned, resulting in... more sales of the device. The kicker is that nobody really seems to like the machines: one of the people in the company making them even says "Most people try it once and then go back to drinking." But thanks to the one legislator's overreaction, they're selling pretty well. However, in a slight twist on the other side of the world, it looks like one government is starting to understand, and even leverage, the Streisand Effect. After getting their collective panties in a wad for what they saw as the fictional character Borat making fun of Kazakhstan (even when it seemed pretty clear the joke was on people that believed his representation of the country could be true) and yanking his web domain, the government there is singing a new tune. Its prime minister says the film has made people more curious about the country, and he hopes they'll come visit -- and searches for Kazakh hotels on one travel site have jumped 300%.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Katman, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 2:26am

    And it doesn't mention anything that it was actually filmed in Romania and somebody in the country sued the producers of the film?

    First post!

     

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  2.  
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    Boris Jacobsen, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 2:36am

    Time

    I had a feeling it was only a matter of time before Kazakhstan embraced Borat as one of their own.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 5:21am

    Borat: Genius character and idea...it's a shame the guy will probably die a penniless drunken hobo.

     

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  4.  
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    Bri, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 5:23am

    Curious juxtapostition

    This article is a curious item to juxtapose with the EMI pardody article.

     

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  5.  
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    Borat, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 5:50am

    GREAT SUCESS!

    IS GREAT SUCCESS! I LIKE VERY MUCH! HIGH FIVE!

     

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  6.  
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    Ryan C, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 7:19am

    Wow! It's up to 3 people now!!!

     

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  7.  
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    Ryan C, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 7:20am

    "searches for Kazakh hotels on one travel site have jumped 300%."

    *see above post*

     

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  8.  
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    Matt Bennett, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 7:26am

    The issue with the alchohol inhalers is it hits your blood stream much, much, more quickly.....potentially leading to easier poisoning with out the buffer effect of the stomach.

    It's a legitimate danger, but then, I don't really believe in protecting people from danger against their will.

     

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  9.  
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    Araemo, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 7:48am

    About the inhalers..

    I did some reading on them 6 months to a year ago, and I seem to recall I came across some reports that alcohol in the lungs could cause damage, rather than simply being a 'better' way to get drunk.

    That isn't to say people shouldn't be allowed to kill themselves, they're allowed to drink it and smoke, right? :) But I don't think 'no more health dangers' is accurate, it could damage your lungs as well as your liver, rather than just your liver.

     

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  10.  
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    Tyshaun, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 8:53am

    Was I the only one sad about Borat?

    I watched Borat this weekend and I was very sad. Sad that society has gotten to the point where movies like that and Jackass can make soooo much more money than movies that actually have a message or are of substance. It just seems like Borat pandered to the most base qualities of humanity and we can't really complain about the quality of music or other arts today because the only stuff we support is *crapola* like this.

    Just a thought and I wasn't trying to offend anyone that liked the movie.

    As per the alchohol inhalers, they do seem to have a potential health risk and perhaps should be banned the same way we ban/regulate schedule 1 drugs. I understand the "let people kill themselves if they want, we allow other vices like cigarettes to exist" arguement, but to me perhaps they should be banned as well (either that or go the other way and everything should be legal, in my head its more pick a side rather than which side is correct).

     

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  11.  
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    PhysicsGuy, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 9:28am

    Re: Buffer Effect

    considering alcohol absorbs through the stomach lining there isn't really THAT much of a buffer effect... i could definitely imagine there being a detrimental effect on the lungs... risk to the liver would be equally as great...

    concerning borat: Tyshaun, borat and jackass are in no way similar movies. i haven't seen the movie but if it's anything like his shorts it's more along the lines of social commentary.

     

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  12.  
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    Tyshaun, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Buffer Effect

    considering alcohol absorbs through the stomach lining there isn't really THAT much of a buffer effect... i could definitely imagine there being a detrimental effect on the lungs... risk to the liver would be equally as great... concerning borat: Tyshaun, borat and jackass are in no way similar movies. i haven't seen the movie but if it's anything like his shorts it's more along the lines of social commentary.
    There were some social commentary in Borat, especially on issues regarding classism and racism, but I felt like there were so many negative things that detracted from it (and won't go into them as not to spoil it for others). Like I said, my main issue is that here on techDirt we're always talking about the benefits of proliferation of new media easily and without interference (cough DRM/MPAA lawsuit/censorship) across various technology pipelines but sometimes I think it's worthwhile to think about if the media itself is worth supporting and proliferating in the first place.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 1:19pm

    Re:

    The issue with the alchohol inhalers is it hits your blood stream much, much, more quickly.....potentially leading to easier poisoning with out the buffer effect of the stomach.
    I would have guessed that the time delay produced by the stomach would have made it easier, not harder, to accidentally overdose. Do you have evidence to support your claim or are you just making it up, like the Kentucky legislator?

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Was I the only one sad about Borat?

    I understand the "let people kill themselves if they want, we allow other vices like cigarettes to exist" arguement, but to me perhaps they should be banned as well...
    Along with everything else unhealthy?

     

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  15.  
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    Rob, Nov 27th, 2006 @ 10:16pm

    Re: Was I the only one sad about Borat?

    Marijuana is a Schedule 1 substance that should be legalized. No one as ever died from using marijuana.. unless they were shot by a cop. Like this lady.
    http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/11/27/atlanta.shooting/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

    In fact, recent studies show that smoking marijuana actually prevents lung cancer by killing off the older, weaker cells more susceptable to becoming cancerous. That's great news I say for all you pussies addicted to cancer sticks. Just fucking quit already. I did and it was easier than microwaving a pop-tart. But if you're too much of a pussy to stop paying for Mr. Tobacco's blow jobs then start fucking supporting your local pot dealer already. It's the least you can do for yourself, and your community.

    Learn the truth about Marijuana at http://www.norml.com and contact your representatives today to tell them you support the legalization of Marijuana

    You can also read about America's original cash crop here.
    http://www.jackherer.com/chapters.html

    Hemp can save us all from global warming! If only the government would get their heads out of their asses and legalize it! Don't believe me??? Think I'm a crazy fool??? Then go ahead, take the $100,000 challenge at http://www.jackherer.com We can stop the destruction of earth with one single, natural, renewable, and remarkably easy to grow source of energy! Prove Jack wrong and $100,000 is yours to keep!

    I know I'm way off my rocker posting this here but I have to get the message out if we're going to save our planet. Sorry about my insulting rants earlier too, I'm also a little bi-polar. Seriously though, lose the cigarettes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 30th, 2006 @ 4:36pm

    BLOW ME PLEASE

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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