There was some news coverage last week of the UK's "equalities minister" (what the hell is that?), Harriet Harman, asking Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to shut down a prostitute review site called Punternet
. As many legal commentators pointed out, this was ridiculous for a variety of reasons -- neither Harman nor Schwargenegger had any legal authority to shut down such a site. However, the really ridiculous thing is that all this request did was give the site a ton of attention. In a press release response
, Punternet took issue with many of Harman's claims about the site, and then at the end noted how much she had helped the site's traffic:
How much extra traffic did you get on 30 September, the day the story first broke?
Just over 2.7 million hits, more than double the daily average. Here's the graph from my server statistics for September: http://www.punternet.com/daily_usage_200909.png
One must assume that wasn't Harman's intention. But, honestly, it makes you wonder what sort of politician these days doesn't realize that calling for the shutting down of a site will only boost the traffic to that site by a considerable amount.