The Streisand Effect

The term “Streisand Effect” might sound like it’s tied to some groundbreaking scientific discovery, but it’s actually named after the famous singer, Barbra Streisand. The term was coined in 2005 and refers to a social phenomenon where trying to suppress information backfires, leading to the information being even more publicized than before. It all began in 2003 when a photographer named Kenneth Adelman had taken aerial shots of the California coastline for the California Coastal Records Project. He intended to document coastal erosion. One of the photographs was of Streisand’s Malibu home. Despite the image being among 12,000 other photos and not specifically identifying her home, Streisand sued Adelman and the associated website for $50 million, claiming the photo violated her right to privacy. However, the singer’s efforts to maintain her privacy unintentionally drew even more attention to the photograph. Once word got out, the photo garnered over 420,000 views in the first month alone. Since the original incident, the Streisand Effect has occurred multiple times. If Barbra Streisand had just left well enough alone, it’s unlikely anyone would ever have known the photo was of her house. There’s a common phrase for that…….”Get over yourself.”