Ford Squelches Incriminating Reports, Fuels News Reports Instead

from the backfired dept

Few things make us chuckle more frequently than examples of the Streisand Effect. This is the internet-age phenomenon of attempting to suppress information but instead gaining a much wider audience by drawing attention to it. We’ve seen it time and time (and time) again. The folks at Ford are now seeing this concept in action (though we’re not laughing as much this time). Apparently, they complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about a website that published internal Ford documents exposing the weak roof strength of their SUVs. The NHTSA removed the documents, which Ford claims contain trade secrets. Of course, these actions only spurred a news story that has probably been read much more widely than the little-known NHTSA site. At the same time, they have drawn attention to two things other than alleged trade secrets: 1) the info in question involved reports of Ford’s declining roof quality; and 2) Ford is at odds with subsidiary Volvo, which wants better roofs. Lucky no one else besides the NHTSA published the information. Oh wait, they already did.

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