Streisand Effect

After reading an article in TheStar where our PM admitted that, “the Government’s censorship of The Economist’s article on Bersih last month was ineffective and said that its censorship methods would be reviewed. Only one line was censored, but the act of censoring made more news than the news itself.”

Our home ministry definitely blacked-out more than a single line of The Economist. Whole paragraphs were covered up with black markers. However, the online edition was untouched and everyone with an Internet connection could read the entire article under the black.

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce our PM (and his cousin) to the Streisand Effect where, “an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely.”

Our government should just get rid of censorship altogether because in the open world of the Internet, no censorship will be effective. You’ve got to learn how to work with the data and influence the conversation, not try to stamp it out.

That’s the one lesson that our present government has yet to learn.

Maybe it’s time to introduce them to Robert J Sawyer too.

Published by

Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered/Professional Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

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