TX Congresswoman's Misdeeds Re-Vaulted Into News Via That Pesky Streisand Effect

from the hey,-look,-there-it-is-again! dept

The thing about this damned internet is you just can't get stuff to disappear, you know? Whether it's automakers trying to disappear offensive advertising, bus companies apparently run by Mr. Burns trying to get negative reviews to go away, or that embarrassing home video my mother put up of me performing the lead role in my grade school's rendition of Hairspray (seriously, why would a K-12 school even do that?!?), the internet never forgets. More importantly, it vehemently punishes those that try to force amnesia upon it, via the Streisand Effect.

Reader dennis deems writes in about the latest such example in which someone keeps trying to delete 3-year-old controversial information out of Texas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson's Wikipedia page only to find that controversy being resurrected in the news yet again.
The deleted entry, which has since been restored, concerned a 2010 scandal in which Johnson was found to have "awarded 23 scholarships over five years to two of her grandsons, two sons of her nephew and the children of her top congressional aide in Dallas." It was a clear violation of the scholarship fund's anti-nepotism and residency rules. Johnson eventually repaid the foundation more than $31,000 for the misappropriated scholarships, but has been hammered over the issue by rivals during her two most recent campaigns.
And now it will be an issue in any subsequent campaigns as well, and fresh in the media's bloodstream too, all thanks to whoever is trying to disappear the entry about Johnson's apparent corruption. For her part, the Congresswoman insists that it isn't she who is attempting these changes and she has no idea who is. Whether you believe that or not, even supporters of Johnson who might try this have to be punching themselves over how this is all working out. The report suggests a link to Johnson's campaign manager which, if it is indeed him, simply indicates that the Congresswoman needs a new campaign manager.

After all, as we continue to learn, no matter how bad the transgression of a public figure, the coverup is always worse. As one Wikipedia editor told the culprit:
By removing information about Johnson's nepotistic scholarship awards, you served only to bring this scandal back to the attention of The Dallas Morning News. If that was your intention, then you succeeded - as the material is now back in the article and Bernice's name is once again being smeared in Dallas. If it wasn't your intention, then you really screwed the pooch. At any rate, if you persist in removing content from this encyclopedia, regardless of your motives, your account will be disabled.
So take heed, public figures. There is simply no percentage in fudging your Wikipedia entries. It won't actually work, it will Streisand-rocket whatever information you're trying to suppress, and you'll end up with media egg all over your face.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Aaron T (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 4:30pm

    Good plan

    Maybe she's telling the truth and her opponent undersands the Streisand Effect? That's what I'd do. :)

    Disclaimer: I have no clue who's deleting it. I've never heard of her- I live in California and try to avoid Texas as much as possible (although Austin is nice).

     

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  2.  
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    Spointman (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 4:32pm

    I notice in the lead paragraph, two of the three examples of the Streisand effect have links. The third doesn't. Sloppy journalism. *VERY evil grin*

     

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  3.  
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    marak, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 4:33pm

    An interesting way for her competition to bring it back into the light :-)

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 4:35pm

    Best defense?

    By removing information about Johnson's nepotistic scholarship awards, you served only to bring this scandal back to the attention of The Dallas Morning News. If that was your intention, then you succeeded

    I don't know if this is it, but I've been waiting for someone to go on the offensive with the Streisand Effect.

     

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  5.  
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    Nigel (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 4:48pm

    When you find yourself getting smacked down by a wikipedia editor its time to retire from the intertubes.

    Nigel

     

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  6. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 4:50pm

    Minions must get paid to work in "Streisand Effect"!

    It was my understanding that minions write for free, just for the privilege of "exposure", but I can't reasonably explain the constant toadying with using Mike's pet "Streisand Effect" UNLESS they're actually paid money. But maybe the minions are kidding... No, sad to say not.

    Anyhoo, Timmy, when you write such pieces I can only think it's without self-awareness. Remember that not all of the more than 5000 posts you made here under the cartoon "Dark Helmet" name redound to your everlasting glory. You too may one day wish there were an "erase" button on teh internets.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 5:28pm

    Response to: Spointman on Jun 14th, 2013 @ 4:32pm

    I was thinking the same thing, Mike usually prides himself on linking to any claim he makes, and yet, here we have an unsupported claim. What gives Mike? We need links, or are you trying to cover that up as well? Watch out for the Streisand effect. It could bite you too.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 5:34pm

    So, if you ever want to highlight your political opponent's weakness, you use a proxy and delete the most damning thing on their Wikipedia page?

     

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  9. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 5:46pm

    Another black democrat with an overblown sense of entitlement.

    Sadly Dallas has had a couple of them... Makes so many look bad.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 14th, 2013 @ 7:01pm

    "or that embarrassing home video my mother put up of me performing the lead role in my grade school's rendition of Hairspray"

    Damn you. Now i gotta comb the internet for it just to sate my curiosity.

     

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  11.  
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    Miff (profile), Jun 14th, 2013 @ 9:22pm

    I don't think it'll matter

    If she's already had to run for re-election twice and won both times despite her opponents bringing this up, would a third attempt really work?

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2013 @ 3:56am

    Re: Minions must get paid to work in "Streisand Effect"!

    "You too may one day wish there were an "erase" button on teh internets."

    Sounds like someone's projecting. And once you found out that wasn't the case, you decided you were too far gone to turn back. But it's never too late. Tell your router not to let you come back here again, and you won't have to deal with everyone making fun of you any more.

     

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  13.  
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    Charles Grossman (profile), Jun 15th, 2013 @ 5:30am

    Streisand Effect as a weapon

    I agree with those other commenters who point out that this smells like an opponent's using the Streisand Effect, rather than the congresswoman or her supporters. Either way, though, it's nice to see our political class getting increasingly internet-savvy.

     

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  14.  
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    BearGriz72 (profile), Jun 15th, 2013 @ 4:18pm

    Re: Minions must get paid to work in "Streisand Effect"!

    Hey Moron...
    1) Those are 6,198 comments (at the time I am writing this) not posts, you idiot. Although I am sure he is equally proud of his 321 posts (as in Articles Written).

    2) He STILL uses (and is, I imagine, proud of) the name "Dark Helmet"

    3) I doubt he wants to erase anything; he, unlike you, shows signs of intelligence in his writing.
    In conclusion: OotB, please grow a brain (and gain sapience), or leave.

     

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  15.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Jun 16th, 2013 @ 4:38am

    Re: I don't think it'll matter

    there's your bottom line right there: they used to say that they only thing that would upset an incumbent's reelection, was being found with a dead grrl, or a live boy...

    now?

    hell, that's just called wednesday for a kongresskritter...

    i know this sounds weird, but *one* (of the millions) of the things 'our' (sic) kongress has done, has grated against my grade-school education for decades: gerrymandering...

    as i recall in EVERY civics class throughout school, one of the big dangers we had and victories we secured to preserve democracy, was to outlaw gerrymandering...

    of course, these days, there is *NOTHING* 'against the law' if you are an elite puppetmaster, and in this case, since both the rethugs and dem'rats both wanted to game the system to eliminate ANY third party attempts, they both went the gerrymander route to carve up the country into mafia territories...

    'law', 'consequences', 'fairness', 'justice', 'the public', etc, etc, these terms have NO MEANING any longer in our society... mere window-dressing to keep the rabble in line...

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2013 @ 6:55pm

    It comes to mind, but couldn't the Streisand effect be abused by third parties against first parties they dislike?

     

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  17.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jun 17th, 2013 @ 6:53am

    Re:

    Link please!

    Also, glad mom doesn't know how to use computers ;)

     

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  18.  
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    Lord Binky, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 8:27am

    Re:

    Like companies sending their competitors products to people that are both disliked by their target marget and currently high profile in the media?

     

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  19.  
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    Lord Binky, Jun 17th, 2013 @ 8:29am

    Is it REALLY that hard to do enough good things to make such mistakes trivial in comparison and show personal growth?

     

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