Forbes Takes On The Streisand Effect; If I Ask Them To Take It Down Will It Become More Famous?

from the hello,-lawyers dept

Earlier this week I spent nearly an hour on the phone with Forbes reporter Andy Greenberg discussing the concept behind "The Streisand Effect," the phrase I jokingly coined, which has taken on a life of its own. He's now written up an article looking at the Streisand Effect and how not understanding it has backfired for so many companies (and governments). The key is pretty simple, I think. Lawyers who are used to taking a hard stance in a negotiation do things the way they always have: send out a nasty cease-and-desist letter that they view as the opening play. When people receive such a nasty, threatening communication, they feel like they're being bullied (and often, that's true). And, these days, it's much easier for anyone to respond to being bullied by letting others know who the bully is, exposing them as a bully. If there really is a miscommunication, a much smarter way to deal with it is to keep the lawyers away, and simply contact the person or site who's doing something you think is wrong to see if there's a way to fix what's wrong. Most of the conversation with Greenberg, though, was trying to come up with the best examples of the Streisand Effect in action, which he then put into one of's infamous slide shows. There are many more examples that didn't make the cut, but it was fun to go back through some of the older ones. In the meantime, maybe I should send Forbes a cease-and-desist for using the phrase. After all, that will only make it more popular, right?

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  1. identicon
    Nick, 12 May 2007 @ 12:55am

    seems like its common sense to me

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