Mormons The Latest To Make Their Secret Documents More Popular By Trying To Take Them Down

from the is-streisand-a-mormon? dept

A couple months ago, in discussing The Streisand Effect with a reporter, the reporter asked if I thought lawyers would one day be accused of malpractice for not informing their clients of the potential implications of demanding some content be pulled off the internet. While I doubt it will reach the point of malpractice, it certainly does make you wonder what some lawyers are thinking when there are such clear examples of what happens when you try to suppress material online. Earlier this year, the lawsuit that brought plenty of new attention to the concept of The Streisand Effect was when a Swiss bank, Julius Baer, convinced a judge to shut down the site Wikileaks for hosting some documents related to a lawsuit Julius Baer was involved in. Of course, not surprisingly, the attempt to shut down Wikileaks got those documents much more attention (and did the same for Wikileaks as well). Eventually, the judge reversed the order and Julius Baer dropped the lawsuit. But the end result showed how badly the strategy backfired on Julius Baer. Before it demanded the documents be taken down, almost no one saw the documents or even knew that the bank was involved in a case that accused of it laundering money. Afterwards, a lot more people knew about the lawsuit and had seen the documents -- and they were still online.

That situation got so much publicity, you would think that anyone would think twice about going down the same path. No such luck. Last month, Scientology threatened Wikileaks for hosting Scientology documents, and this morning (as a whole bunch of folks have sent in) news is coming out that the Mormon Church is threatening Wikileaks as well, for hosting church documents. In this case, the Mormon Church isn't just going after Wikileaks, but also threatened the WikiMedia foundation and document hosting site Scribd. It went after WikiMedia because WikiNews ran an article about the document and linked to them (which is hardly copyright infringement). Scribd was apparently hosting a copy of the documents as well (since taken down). Wikileaks, however, true to its charter, is refusing to take down the documents.

While you can understand why the Church might not like it's documents being made public, it does seem ridiculous that whoever decided to start threatening everyone didn't do the most basic research to recognize what would happen as soon as they threatened sites. Given what happened with Julius Baer, it should have been abundantly clear that threatening Wikileaks would almost guarantee that the documents were both more widely seen than before and copied widely across the internet.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2008 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Not Christian chruch??

    You better study before you try and explain.

    1) The writings originated with a family that left Jerusalem just before it was destroyed. The father of that family was a prophet who was under threat of being stoned. The record consists of the writings of many subsequent prophets that lived in the America's.

    2) In the 2000 years of "Christian teaching" you refer to, how much of that teaching came from men, and how much came from God/Christ? Remember - part of the doctrine you are referring to dictates that there is no more revelation. So who was in charge? Who decided what was doctrine? How can any person decide to believe it or not?

    3) Most any prophet is hated for saying he had revelation. Joseph Smith was no different. But the test the Bible gives - by their fruits ye shall know them, is pretty powerful. Helping millions of people come closer to God, believe in Christ, do good works, spread the word - exactly which of these do you condem Joseph for doing?

    4) The bible did not exist as "The Holy Bible" until hundreds of years after the apostles died off. So what authority did the compiler have to decide exactly what writings went in it? Who are you to say that God doesn't still reveal things to men? Why would he change policy all of the sudden?

    But then this argument you post isn't about digging in and finding truth, it's a sound-bite editorial comment, with only one purpose - to emotionally drag others into your narrow and derogatory point of view. Which opinion you were taught to believe by whom?

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