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.