Understanding The ‘Streisand Effect’

I recently came across this phenomenon called the ‘Streisand Effect’ while reading about the Indian government’s attempts to censor a rape-related documentary. Since I won’t be discussing this documentary here, you can read more about it on this link.


Know Your Meme defines this effect in very simple words:

Streisand Effect refers to the unintended consequence of further publicizing information by trying to have it censored. Instead of successfully removing the information from the public, it becomes even more widely available than before as a backlash against the censorship attempt.

This phenomenon is very closely related to psychology’s ‘Boomerang Effect’.

Real World Examples

The Indian government tried to censor Leslee Udwin’s explosive documentary on the 2012 Delhi gang-rape – ‘India’s Daughter’, but this action backfired heavily. The news was picked up by the media, the video went viral on the internet and was uploaded, viewed and shared on hundreds of sites despite the government banning it in India. It would have perhaps received less attention had the government not made such a big issue out of it.

You can know more about this fantastic concept on its wiki page.