Twitter, Turkey, and the Streisand effect

Familiar with the Streisand effect? Back in 2003, an ariel view of Barbara Streisand’s Malibu mansion was put on the internet, in an innocuous database of 12,000 California coastline properties. The goal was to show the effect of erosion on the coastline. Streisand sued to have the photo removed. Before the lawsuit, the photo was downloaded 6 times. After the $50 million suit went public, the photo was downloaded more than 400,000 times in the next month.

The Streisand effect occurs when an attempt to suppress something has the opposite unintended consequence.

So what does this have to do with Twitter and Turkey?

In an attempt to halt widespread allegations of corruption, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has shuttered Twitter – but so ineffectively that the number of tweets sent in the country has remained unaffected.

But in a perfect example of the Streisand effect, Erdogan’s move has only brought more attention to the corruption allegations. At the time of writing, indeed, ‘#TwitterisblockedinTurkey’ is the top trending topic worldwide.

Read the article for details. Bottom line, trying to shut off the internet has, historically, always led to unintended consequences. Now that’s irony.



  • Seth

    What’s the little mermaid got to do with this?