January 19, 2010 | By Richard Esguerra

Hello Streisand Effect: Takedown Hall of Shame Grows by Four

(The Streisand Effect describes the phenomenon by which an attempt to suppress information results in faster, broader dissemination of that information. Roughly explained, attempted censorship -- particularly by a famous or well-known entity -- can flag the information as more interesting.)

Last October, we launched the Takedown Hall of Shame to highlight the most egregious attempts to silence speech online with bogus intellectual property complaints. Today, we’re inducting four more would-be censors into the pantheon of speech bullies. They are:

  • Peabody Energy, for issuing outstandingly spurious trademark claims against a spoof site criticizing their "clean coal" group;
  • Yahoo, for an impressive attempt to return a cat to the bag after a leak of its guide to snooping services for law enforcement was posted to a whistleblower site;
  • Perez Hilton and the Miss Universe Organization for endeavoring to stop a non-profit from airing an ad commenting on a public same-sex marriage controversy initiated by their videos; and
  • Universal Music Group, for attempting to muzzle online criticism of the rapper Akon.

The antidote for speech you disagree with is more speech -- not overreaching legal threats. Hopefully, we'll see companies exercise more discretion and transparency when dealing with speech they dislike, instead of reaching for the nearest blunt legal instruments.


Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

The clock is ticking on Section 215 sunset, but the Senate is in stalemate on NSA spying powers: https://eff.org/r.tpwa

May 22 @ 10:58pm

BREAKING: At the behest of @SenateMajLdr, the Senate will meet Sunday, May 31st in the afternoon, mere hours before Section 215 expires.

May 22 @ 10:20pm

BREAKING: Senator Rand Paul objecting to even one more day of extending Section 215.

May 22 @ 10:08pm
JavaScript license information