An article in today’s Globe and Mail highlight’s the phenomenon that has become known as “The Streisand Effect“.
Its a great name – but it has less to do with singing than it does with managing publicity in today’s social media savvy world. The origin of the Streisand Effect is described here and here . Essentially, it can be summed up as the failure of trying to reduce or suppress negative publicity – with the consequence being the thing you are trying to suppress actually gets more attention. The role played by social media is fundamental to this phenomenon as it dramatically accelerates the spread of the subject information.
The most recent example of the Streisand Effect happened when Labatt Brewers of Canada threatened legal action against the Montreal Gazette for publishing a picture of suspected murderer Luka Magnotta brandishing a bottle of Labatt Blue. As has happened in other situations, the threat of legal action was the spark that ignited a more widespread consideration of the offending picture, much to the dismay of Labatt.
The Globe article offers some very practical advice to others who may find themselves in Labatt’s position in the future.
The days of people cowering at the thought of receiving a threatening lawyer letter seem to be numbered….sadly for us lawyers….even less respect.