Hey, and welcome to the short stuff, I'm Josh, there's Chuck, there's Bab's, this is short stuff. Let's go Bab's.
Yeah, we talked about this at some point, the Streisand effect, wherein when you try to cover something up online, all you do is draw more attention to it.
And it blows up in your face, a.k.a. backfires. Barbara. Yeah, but I mean, Barbara Streisand isn't the first person to have something blow up in her face or backfire when she tried to censor anything and yet she got saddled with this term, I think is just a little bit of Internet justice, maybe.
Um, but at the very least, we should probably give a little background on what Barbara did to try to censor something in the first place on the Internet that drew the ire, that ended up getting her saddled with this. Wait a minute. That was way too long for a short stuff. Chuck, let's edit this out and start over.
So in 2003, Babs sued a photographer. His name is Kenneth Adelman because she said, I want you to delete this photo that you took from the sky that has my Malibu estate in it.
She said, will you delete it? And he said, well, first of all, I was not paparazzo. I was doing an online project tracking erosion on the coastline. Your house happened to be in it. And this is big environmental issue. And she said, well, I don't care.
I'm going to sue you for 50 million dollars, 50 million dollars.
This guy is not you know, it's that Sheldon Adelson. It's Kenneth Adelman. He doesn't have 50 million dollars. And she wasn't laying out in the nude. It was just her house. Right.
And again, it was part of this erosion project. So when it got out pretty quickly that Barbra Streisand was suing some some guy for 50 million dollars, it got picked up by the news. And a lot of attention was drawn to this previously fully overlooked thing, which was the photo of her house on the Malibu coastline.
I believe it had been downloaded six times in the entire history of that photograph's existence. And two of those times were by her lawyer. But I think the number jumped up quite a bit after word got out about the lawsuit. Is that not correct, Chuck?
Yeah, the Streisand effect happened and it was downloaded close to a half a million, half a million times. And the next month after this lawsuit came out and it prompted a blogger from Desertec named Michael Masnick Tech to what I say, dirt tech dirty, the hillbilly version he labeled the Streisand effect.
And it kind of took hold.
Yeah, it did, because it's catchy and everybody likes Barbra Streisand. But there's also something about her that everybody doesn't like to you know, Emily loves her.
There's nothing she doesn't like.
Really sensational like then and now. She's a big fan of that. The Christmas record plays on repeat. Oh, I see no existence record.
Have you ever heard? Well, I'm sure that the answer to this is yes.
Have you ever heard that her duets with Barry Gibb? Oh, sure. Those are great.
OK, yeah, they're about as good as a duet gets em. Barbra Streisand. It's great on her own. But I just think personally, I get the impression that she's always been the kind who would suit just an average person for fifty million dollars, you know what I mean?
You've never heard her take on Jingle Bells?
I don't think so, which is bizarre because I've been on this planet for 43 years and I thought I've heard every Christmas song ever created around the world. Fifty million times. Oh, you would know it.
It's true. She changes it up a lot.
Oh, I got to hear this. It's jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle bells.
Jingle all the way.
Hey. What? Yes. Chuck, you just literally changed my life. Yeah, just go listen to it after this, you'll get a kick out of it. All right. I definitely will. You're probably going to want to throw your sound system out the window or you might think it's the best thing ever. It's one of the two.
OK, maybe I'll just keep vacillating back and forth.
All right. So Streisand effect happens. She gets labeled or, you know, gets named after her. And there have actually been studies on this kind of thing since then. There was one in China in twenty eighteen that found out that their attempts as a country to block access to Facebook and Twitter and other social media sites that people may not have been interested in had they not tried to block it prompted millions of people to download VPN software just so they could get access to these sites.
So it's the whole idea of the forbidden fruit.
It's like that that Chief Wiggum telling Ralph to stay out of his forbidden closet of mystery.
Why are you so fascinated with whatever is in my forbidden closet of mystery?
That's definitely part of it. It's like if you're saying, no, you're not allowed to see this. You're basically saying do everything you can to see what I'm trying to keep you from seeing. And just like how how Streisand's house photo, it'll only be downloaded six times prior to the lawsuit and then went up to 420000 times right after. That's just it's just part and parcel with it if you leave it alone. I don't know about China and news of democracies and what democracies are doing.
That might be an exception. But typically, if you leave, whatever you're trying to censor alone, apparently that will that will attract less attention to it than saying, like, you're not allowed to hear this. This is censored.
Yeah. I mean, it's also the conundrum that every parent faces every day that their kid grows up. It's like everything from curse words, like not making a big deal about it to whatever they're watching and stuff like that. It's just, you know, it's like, well, maybe if we don't make a big deal out of it, it's not going to be a big deal.
Yes, there is a giant bird in his yellow and he loves you, but you cannot see him. You're not allowed to to watch that.
All right. We're going to take a break and come back and talk about a few other versions of the Streisand effect over the years right after this.
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So I just want to point out, if you're not going to laugh at my jokes today, all laugh at my own jokes, I'll be taking over.
Yeah, the big joke is a good one. All right.
So there is a pair of researchers, Sukkari Jensen and Brian Martin. And together, they they kind of created this paper partially on the Streisand effect. And they gave some other examples like, you know, in addition to Barbra Streisand and China banning Twitter and Facebook, some other other groups of have famously, you know, tried to censor things and it's blown up in their face. And one of them was I don't remember where we talked about it before, but the McLibel case, we definitely have mentioned it before.
Yeah. This was McDonald's in the 90s. They sued a couple of volunteers from London, Greenpeace, because they had put out a pamphlet called What's Wrong With McDonald's? And this you know, this is a street pamphlet. It wasn't even online. I mean, may have been at some point, but this is the 90s. So, you know, pamphlets, it's not like that goes wide.
They were just pamphlets and they until they got sued and the British press got a hold of it, called it, like you said, McLibel. And it became the longest running civil trial in the history of Britain. And they lost that one, too. So it's they didn't get the message or I guess when was Streisand's?
Was that in the 80s? Streisand? No, Streisand was twenty because of the Internet project.
Yeah. This preceded Barbra Streisand. So she did take a note from McDonald's. Maybe don't bring the lawsuit.
No, because, I mean, the fact that it was longest running civil trial, the press still is interested in that kind of thing. So pretty frequently they would interview the plaintiffs or the defendants in the case and they would just give them this big microphone to talk about all the horrible things McDonald's was doing. It was a it was a bad move on McDonald's part for sure. There was also one as far as food goes, a schoolgirl in Scotland named Martha Payne, who was nine at the time back in 2012.
And she sounds like one of the cooler nine year olds I've ever heard of. She had a food blog, but her food blog was about how terrible the food was at her school and her cafeteria. And so she would take pictures of her school lunch and post a picture on her blog and talk about the food and all that. And I guess Jamie Oliver, who's a well-known food guy and food communicator, if there is such a thing. Sure.
Yeah. So Jamie Oliver tweeted about it and there was a bunch of traffic to her blog and the local school board said, oh, we we can't have this. She's going to make us look dumb. So let's just ban her from taking photos in school of her food.
Yeah, that didn't work out. That blew up in their face as well, because then what you end up being accused of is like squashing the voice of a child. Mm.
Kind of like what happened recently here in Georgia when that high school girl took a picture of her crowded school without masks. Yeah. They suspended her for like a day and then we're like, never mind. You can I guess we shouldn't try and squash health whistleblowers in high school.
How's valedictorian sound. Yeah. So they let her back in school too. They did.
It was, it was a little rough. Just the very idea that they suspended her for that is really disappointing. What's even more disappointing, though, is that that the two researchers I mentioned early are, um, they basically said, you know, there's some really great famous cases about this Streisand effect happening. But way more often than not, the censors who are working to censor things, are they do they they censor and the like. The Streisand effect doesn't happen.
It's much more the exception than the rule. And that even when there is a Streisand effect to it, there's kind of a playbook, what they call outrage management that's used to kind of keep the public outcry against whatever was discovered or the censorship that was discovered in in order and manageable, I guess, which hence the name.
Yeah, it's pretty easy to see what they do, but it's sort of right out of the playbook that you would expect. Oh, it sounds it sounds very familiar, doesn't it.
Yeah, very benzion. And plus it's just the kind of thing you see all the time. You know, they try and do a cover up or they devalue the target or they basically lie about it and reinterpret it.
They another one is use official channels to give an appearance of justice. Right. And then intimidate people.
So they gave in this in this article, Jansen and Martin gave an example of the Nazis and the euthanasia, making air quotes everybody program of people with disabilities, and that they used all five methods of that. They hid the program from the public. That's number one, they stigmatize. Sized people with disabilities is a burden for society that's devaluing the target, they lied about the event, so that's reinterpreting it. Anybody who had a question like a parent of the victim, that kind of thing, they would just out now say, oh, no, they died of, you know, this other this other disease or from natural causes or something.
They also intimidated parents who would not back down into saying, hey, do you want to lose the rest of your kids now? Well, then be quiet. And then they also allowed for formal complaints to be levied. But of course, they never went anywhere. So it gave the appearance of using official channels for justice. So leave it to the Nazis to check off all five of those Shezi boxes. Stupid Nazis.
Yeah, I think one of my favorite cases was when Al Franken, previous to being a senator, wrote that book, Lies and the Lying Liars who tell them Colen a fair and balanced look at the right. Right. And and Fox News took him to court and says, wait a minute, that's our term. Fair and balanced. That's intellectual property. And the judge said, no, those are just two words that are pretty commonly used. You don't own them.
And Al Franken, I imagine as soon as he heard that Fox News was suing him was like hit the roof and was like so weird because all that did was bring just tons and tons of press to his new book that was being launched.
Yeah. And I guess it shot right onto the bestseller list right after that, too.
So maybe Fox News will come and sue us because of our book.
Maybe we should change the title to stuff you should know, an incomplete compendium of mostly interesting, fair and balanced things. Yeah.
Koliba You believe this title and then maybe we get taken to court and get a lot of publicity out of it.
That'll be wonderful.
Or Chuck, if everybody just went and bought our book, which you can preorder now, anywhere books are available that would have the same effect without us having to go through the problem, being sued that be great too, or having to go back and retitle the thing.
You got anything else? I don't have anything else. Beautiful Segway, by the way. Nice plug in since we don't have anything else and we're down to plugs. Sure. Stuff is our. Stuff you should know is a production of radios HowStuffWorks for more podcasts, My Heart Radio, is it the radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows?