Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Streisand Effect

Scrubbing The Internet

For those who may be unfamiliar with the term Streisand Effect, it is defined as "an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information" with "the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet." Barbara Streisand gave name to this effect when she tried to remove pictures of her home from a website showing erosion of the California coastline. The media picked up the story, drawing "more than 420,000 people" to the website. Ooops.

Why would someone want to remove something from the Internet? 

In early 2014, a reviewer on TripAdvisor left a less than flattering review about her visit to Homestead Heritage. By September 2015 the review was removed from TripAdvisor's website. Fortunately, I grabbed a screenshot of the cached view before that also disappeared. 

At the time of this screenshot, Carol T.'s review received more "helpful" votes than any other TripAdvisor reviews of Homestead Heritage

The post and comments on this blog, and this article on an estate in the UK, indicate that TripAdvisor may be somewhat biased in favor of the establishments. It seems that many have had their negative reviews inexplicably taken down. Also see the complaints here about negative reviews being removed. Do not rely on TripAdvisor reviews for accurate information on Homestead Heritage. 

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