Everything About The Streisand Effect, Whereby a Someone Tries to Sue to Silence But Got More Publicity Instead


Last Updated on 2021-10-16 , 4:51 pm

If you’re a cat who merely knows the Hungry Effect and Playful Effect, you might not know that in this world, people actually name phenomenon.

For example, in a case of “he said, she said,” it’s called the Rashomon effect. You can watch this video to know more about it:

And recently, we might have just witnessed another effect that you’re going to learn today: the Streisand effect.

Reader Bao: IKR. The Dee Kosh thingy?

Well. Where have you been?

The Streisand Effect

Lest you’re not aware, defamatory cases aren’t that common in Singapore.

I know it’s surprising, but because defamation is so juicy, most of the cases are reported in the media, which explains why you might think it’s common (especially recently).

Most defamatory cases are settled out of court, so no one knows about them.

One of the key reasons is this: in order to win a case, the plaintiff (the one suing) needs to prove the damages he or she suffered, and the defendant (the one who got sued) must have a malicious intent to harm the plaintiff.

While lawyers would definitely say there’s a case if you approach them (similar to how a barber will say you need a haircut when you walk into a barber shop even if you’re a BMT recruit), the nature of how the Streisand effect might occur is one that the plaintiff should consider.

Case in point: the Dee Kosh saga.

Allegations about his misconduct was made and let’s be frank: some of us who don’t use Instagram regularly might have missed it. Mainstream media didn’t report on it initially, and not many media outlets wrote about it on the first few days.

In fact, it was being discussed mainly (and pretty extensively) in Hardwarezone forums for days without any media picking up (it was a weekend, but nevertheless, our boss say that f***faces like us should also work on a weekend).

Heck, when we came across it, our editors were convinced that it was another “social experiment”.

Then shit hit the fan when Dee Kosh said that he would be addressing the allegations, and issued a lawyer’s letter to the accuser.


That was picked up by even more media outlets, and rumours slowly morphed to a saga, and even people who didn’t use Instagram know about the incident.

Even folks who didn’t use social media would’ve read about it on news apps.

Now, is this common?


Known as the Streisand Effect, it’s named after actress Barbara Streisand.


Back in 2002, a photographer took lots of images of the California coastline and uploaded them online as part of an effort to document coastal erosion.

12,000 images were taken, and one of them was an aerial photograph of Streisand’s house.

Streisand had wanted to keep her house private, so she sued the photographer and the companies hosting the image, seeking for over USD$50 million for the invasion of privacy.

Now, before that, the image has just been downloaded six times—and two were from her lawyers.

Therefore, no one knew she lived there, and her privacy wasn’t exactly intruded.

Suffice to say, her lawsuit was dismissed, but her efforts to keep the image out of the public eye had the opposite effect instead: the lawsuit gave the image even more publicity, and after she filed her lawsuit, the image was downloaded more than 420,000 times in a month.


In other words, she tried to avoid attention to the image, but her drastic actions led to even more attention.

Nowadays, the Streisand effect is more well-known as a “phenomenon that occurs when an attempt to hide, remove, or censor information has the unintended consequence of increasing awareness of that information, often via the Internet.”

Since then, there has been many examples of the Streisand effect: I’m pretty sure you won’t need an example.

There is why some people would think twice before taking any legal action, especially in this internet age: it might backfire.

But the problem is, of course, making an informed and logical decision, because no barber would ever say that you won’t need a haircut even if you’ve just cut your hair yesterday.


Also, do note that even if you decided to take legal action, it might not end up in court. Watch this video to the end to understand how suing someone in Singapore works:

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Featured Image: Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com