Saudi Arabia Discovers The Streisand Effect; Gets Netflix To Take Down Hasan Minhaj's Show About MBS's Atrocities

from the bad-ideas-all-around dept

Back in October, comedian Hasan Minhaj's show Patriot Act on Netflix did a pretty thorough critique of Saudi Arabia and its leader Mohammad bin Salman, often referred to as MBS. Go watch it here:

It covers a lot of ground, from the death of Jamal Khashoggi to MBS's arresting of a bunch of his cousins to the catastrophic situation in Yemen... and the complicity of the US government and much of Silicon Valley who has taken Saudi money.

Not surprisingly, the Saudi government was not thrilled with this episode, or the fact that it was available via Netflix in the country. So, as first reported by the Financial Times (behind a paywall), and since reported in tons of other places, Netflix has agreed to pull that episode in Saudi Arabia in response to a "legal request."

Apparently, the "legal request" referenced a cybercrime law that says "production, preparation, transmission, or storage of material impinging on public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy, through the information network or computers" is a crime that can lead to imprisonment and fines. Cyber lese majeste, basically.

Not surprisingly, the move by Netflix is leading to tons of criticism directed at both Netflix and Saudi Arabia (but mostly at Netflix for caving).

Of course, this has also generated a lot more interest in that particular episode -- which, again, Netflix has left up on YouTube (and which, it appears, is still available via YouTube in Saudi Arabia). It is the Streisand Effect in action -- and, one might argue that Netflix knew that this was the likely outcome. As such, it not only gets to "avoid" whatever criminal punishment was being threatened by Saudi Arabia, but also gets more attention to this particular pointed criticism of MBS... and, as a side benefit, gets a lot more attention for its Patriot Act show.

Filed Under: censorship, hasan minhaj, mbs, mohammad bin salman, patriot act, saudi arabia, silicon valley, streisand effect, yemen
Companies: netflix

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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    Nick Knack, 2 Jan 2019 @ 11:15am

    This is excuse for MM to use "Streisand Effect".

    Anyone new here and not know why Masnick headlines "The Streisand Effect"? -- If so, then you've got a hoot in store, though it's not near so bad as years ago. -- But there's no one new here.

    Now, let's not leave out what's being left out!

    As always with Masnick, only Israel's enemies come in for scorn, never Israel for worse. -- This time he does take a shot at "Silicon Valley", though.

    Here's comparable news. -- Oh, and by the way, NO I'm not "anti-Jew": I'm anti-war / anti-murder regardless what country does it. I'm the only one here who ever mentions the US's war crimes of illegal and above all unnecessary invasions / occupations. Anyone NOT opposed to US / UK / Israel actions by now is supporting crimes.

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    December 30, 2018 "Information Clearing House" - After the New York Times on Thursday published an expos‚ of Facebook's global censorship rulebook, journalist Rania Khalek called out the social media giant for taking down a video in which she explains how, "on top of being occupied, colonized territory, Palestine is Israel's personal laboratory for testing, refining, and showcasing methods and weapons of domination and control."

    Google withdrew ads from populist British news website Politicalite last week, over an article about Marine Le Pen. Online ad platform Taboola followed, accusing the site of violating its Acceptable Use policy.

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