Lie Detector Company Threatens Researchers, Draws Much More Attention To Research

from the how-about-a-common-sense-detector dept

Slashdot points us to a story of a lie detector manufacturer, Nemesysco, who apparently was so upset with a report from some Swedish researchers in a technology journal, that they threatened legal action against the journal and the researchers, claiming that they would sue for defamation if the article wasn't taken down. Since the basic point of the journal article was that the lie detecting technology that Nemesysco was betting on simply could not work, you can understand why they might be upset about it. But calling it defamation is highly questionable.

If the information presented in the article was wrong why not just counter it and point out why it's wrong? Threatening defamation lawsuits and trying to shut up the researchers just makes it look like Nemesysco has something to hide. And, indeed, true to the Stresisand Effect, the article reports that the researchers have received a lot more attention for their research since the threats were issued: "It was hardly their intention. But since the article was withdrawn, I have received lots of mail and requests for copies of the article. The article would not have been read to this extent if the company had simply ignored it in silence." Who knows whether or not Nemesysco's lie detector works, but its common sense detector is apparently on the fritz.

Filed Under: lie detector, research, streisand effect
Companies: nemesysco

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  1. icon
    TX CHL Instructor (profile), 30 Jan 2009 @ 2:31pm

    The only thing worse...

    The only thing worse than a lie detector that doesn't work, is one that does.

    Think about it. The only reason most countries don't have thought-crime laws is because "thought-crimes" are pretty much undetectable and/or unprovable. If there ever gets to be an effective, reliable lie-detector, you can rest assured that governments will abuse the technology. You can bet your life on it.

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