The Streisand Effect is the inadvertent generation of more publicity as a result of trying to suppress publicity.
In April 2007, an attempt at blocking an AACS key from being disseminated on Digg caused an uproar when cease-and-desist letters demanded the code be removed from several high-profile websites. This led to the key’s proliferation across other sites and chat rooms in various formats, with one commentator describing it as having become “the most famous number on the internet.” Within a month, the key had been reprinted on over 280,000 pages, printed on T-shirts and tattoos, and had appeared on YouTube in a song played over 45,000 times.
In November 2007, Tunisia blocked access to Youtube and DailyMotion after material was posted of Tunisian political prisoners. Activists and their supporters then started to link videos about civil liberties in general, at the location of then Tunisian President, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali’s palace on Google Earth. The Economist said this “turned a low-key human-rights story into a fashionable global campaign”.
In January 2008, The Church of Scientology’s unsuccessful attempts to get Internet websites to delete a video of Tom Cruise speaking about Scientology resulted in the creation of Project Chanology. In 2008, the Pirate Bay was asked to censor a link to a famous Swedish murder case evidence that circulated on the BitTorrent search site. Peter Sunde, the Pirate Bay’s spokesman said that removal would only increase public interest, according to the Streisand effect, and thus keeping the links served everybody’s interests.