The Streisand Effect And The Province Enbridge Parody

June 28, 2012By:

Enbridge Parody

Last week, BC political cartoonist Dan Murphy had his animated parody of an existing Enbridge Inc. advertisement pulled off the website of The Province Newspaper. The video was removed due to allegations that Enbridge would pull millions of dollars of advertising from Postmedia News, Murphy’s employer, according to the CBC story. Enbridge claims these allegations are not true, according to the article.

Within a few hours of the video being pulled, the Georgia Straight, linked to a copy of the parody video on YouTube which has now received 30,000+ views and continues to grow.

“Pulling content and trying to censor information in this day and age is very, very difficult to do and is going to create a backlash,” says 6S Managing Director and co-founder John Blown in a CBC News interview that aired last night. You can watch the news story online below:

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This is the second time in recent weeks that a Canadian company has had its content go viral online after a content/copyright dispute.

Just weeks ago, Labatt Breweries of Canada threatened to sue the Montreal Gazette over a story they ran about notorious accused killer Luka Magnotta. The story was accompanied by a picture of the accused holding a Labatt Blue beer. Labatt’s claimed the image “is highly denigrating to our brand” and made repeated requests for the image to be replaced with one not associated with the Labatt brand.

These two cases are excellent examples of the social media backlash that can occur when trying to sway public opinion. Its likely, if these two situations had been left alone they would have just blown over. This is an example of a phenomenon called the Streisand effect which is defined by Wikipedia as; “…a primarily online phenomenon in which an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely. It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose attempt in 2003 to suppress photographs of her residence inadvertently generated further publicity.”

You can watch the Enbridge Parody here:

What is your opinion?