Don't point at what you try to hide
"DON'T! PLEASE, DON'T LOOK AT THAT...!"
"Now I want to see it", you might be thinking... but someone replies:
"IT’S FORBIDDEN TO CHECK THIS OUT!"
Not working? still curious? well...
"YOU'LL HEAR FROM MY LAWYERS THEN!!!"
This is exactly what happens when the so-called Streisand effect takes place. This phenomenon, named after the popular actress and singer, is used to identify cases where a public figure tries to eliminate or censure some information on the Internet, mostly images, tweets, photos and videos.
But, instead of succeeding, his or her actions draw even more attention to the subject. This happens when the attempt to hide information creates an opposite reaction making people more interested in the content that a third party wants to erase.
Its origin goes back to 2003 when a photographer was studying the erosion on the west coast of the USA and accidentally took some pictures of the house of Barbra Streisand... and this is where this media related cautionary tale starts, my friends!
If the artist would have remained silent, no one would have noticed. Instead, she tried to make those pics disappear, even threatening to sue the clueless photographer! Her plan backfired: When trying to cover the pics, she just created a bigger hype. Suddenly, almost everyone who heard about the artist trying to make those pictures disappear... yes, you've guessed it... wanted to see them!
So, the moral of the story is that, sometimes it’s better to pretend that the leak never happened and just leave it fading away. Active -and aggressive- censorship tactics can lead to having greater exposure in the media of what was meant to lay under the radar.