Streisand Effect: The backfiring of an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information. It was “named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose attempt in 2003 to suppress photographs of her residence inadvertently generated further publicity” (Wikipedia).
“Streisand Effect” was coined in 2005 by Mike Masnick of TechDirt in a post about, believe it or not, photographs of urinals:
How long is it going to take before lawyers realize that the simple act of trying to repress something they don’t like online is likely to make it so that something that most people would never, ever see (like a photo of a urinal in some random beach resort) is now seen by many more people? Let’s call it the Streisand Effect.
On June 6, 2011, The Caucus—the New York Times’s politics and government blog—invoked the Streisand Effect in its coverage of one angle of a story about Sarah Palin’s confused account of the Paul Revere story (“By ringing those bells and making sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free”*).
Since Ms. Palin described the ride last week while she was visiting Boston, Wikipedia’s Paul Revere article page has been the site of a mini “edit war.” And the page has gone from a little-visited one — 2,000 or so page views a day — to a more heavily trafficked one, with 54,000 on Saturday when Ms. Palin’s comments were gaining the most news attention. …
As a result, the Revere article has become much longer, and much better sourced -– a version of what Wikipedia users call the “Streisand Effect,” which is described as when “an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely.”
A blog called TheStreisandEffect.com collected other tales of information-suppression backfires. The blog has been dormant since March 2010.
Read about the Bradley Effect. Read about other eponymous effects: Coolidge, Droste, Forer, Fujiwhara, Martha Mitchell, McGurk, and Meissner.
(Wiki link via ADS-L.)