This entry is trivia, which is cool and all, but not a trope. On a work, it goes on the Trivia tab.

Streisand Effect
Barbra Streisand doesn't want you to see this picture, so please don't look at it. Thank you.

If it becomes known that someone of power, fame, or influence is using strong measures to attempt to suppress a piece of information or a work, then many people will want to know what it is even if they never cared before.

Something horribly embarrassing or personal about you is released — perhaps a sex tape, or an embarrassing photograph — and you want that information locked back up. So you do whatever it takes to make the information go away: lawsuits, cease-and-desists, DMCA takedowns, whatever you have at hand. But instead of the information remaining obscure, the information becomes more widely known as the efforts to censor it become public, and people who would otherwise be uninterested are curious as to what the commotion is about. The information gets mirrored and copied and spread at a much faster rate and to a much greater scope than before the censorship attempt, often to the dismay and frustration of those trying to prevent it. In essence, it becomes a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy; by being so concerned that everyone will see the dirt on you, you end up causing everyone to see it.

Blogger Mike Masnick of Techdirt coined the phrase when Barbra Streisand — trying to suppress a photograph taken of her house, the one to your right — attempted to sue a photographer and force him to take the image off of his website. Predictably, this backfired: the Internet imp of the perverse was roused and now everyone wanted to see the photo that Streisand didn't want them to see. News of the photo's existence spread far and wide, with others quickly mirroring it on multiple websites as a Take That to Streisand. It should be noted that this wasn't some paparazzo taking pictures specifically of her house; rather, it was part of the California Coastal Records Project, a government-commissioned photographic study of the entire California coast.

This existed long before the Internet was even a gleam in DARPA's eye, but, since the spread of information is much faster, easier, and more difficult to stop across the Internet than through other means, it is far more widespread and difficult to stop now.

Psychologists have done studies and found that the subjects' desire for any kind of potentially censor-able material increased when the subjects were told that it was censored. The old Forbidden Fruit principle in action, in other words. Perhaps any authority considering the use of censorship should worry that this move might be counterproductive if it just gets people interested in the censored material. "Banned In Boston" was once a badge for the book in question, much like R-ratings on movies are for kids.

There's a general principle here that almost everyone learns back in childhood: when someone looks like they're hiding something, they probably are, and it's probably something interesting. The only way to really keep something hidden is to have nobody look for it in the first place. Of course, acting too casually often sparks the same reaction.

Not to be confused with No Such Thing as Bad Publicity, which is very similar, but occurs when Moral Guardians attack something and draw more attention to it. This is basically that but without the Moral Guardians.

A form of Revealing Cover-Up. Sometimes related to Clumsy Copyright Censorship and, more rarely, Fanwork Ban. See also Internet Counterattack. Compare to Thought Aversion Failure (telling someone to not think about something will lead to them thinking about it). Basically opposite to Forced Meme, where the individual or company tries to make something as popular as possible, and fails in much the same way for much the same reasons. People who avert this Just Ignore It.

This page alone is a meta-example, since its entire purpose is to catalog the instances of the effect.


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In-universe examples:

     Fan Fiction 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Harder They Come: When Ivan, an unknown in the music industry, goes on the run from the police after shooting three officers, his song skyrockets in popularity. When the police tell his producer they're going to ban the song for glorifying criminality, the producer warns them that banning it will generate even more public interest.
  • In Untraceable, a killer sets up his victims to be tortured to death in front of a livestreaming camera; the more people watch, the quicker the victim dies. Despite warnings from a Genre Savvy cybercrime special agent, the FBI crime director denounces the website and urges people to avoid it, which causes the site's traffic to explode.
  • On a lighter note, when the protagonists in The Wizard of Oz heard The Great Oz proclaim, "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain", they really paid attention, and the jig was up.

  • In the novel Cat's Cradle, the entire religion of Bokononism is outlawed in The Republic of San Lorenzo, and its practice is punishable by death. Naturally every single citizen, including the President who issued the law, is a devout follower. This is actually by arrangement, and part of the point of Bokononism: to create an entertaining drama (the tyrant in the city and the mad prophet in the jungle) that engages the people and helps distract them from how poor and miserable their lives are.
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry's Quibbler interview setting the record straight is paid little attention, being that it's in a tabloid rag. Then Umbridge threatens to expel anyone caught with a copy of the Quibbler, and Hermione is delighted, explicitly pointing out that this guarantees everyone will find a way to get their hands on it. It helps that the Quibbler is so innocuous that most people were buying it just to figure out what on earth it printed to warrant getting banned.
  • Played with in A Song of Ice and Fire. When Stannis begins spreading rumors regarding the incestuous relationship between Cersei and Jamie, Cersei wants them crushed. When asked what he would do, Tyrion's response was "Nothing. If we leave it alone, everyone will forget the instant some other scandal comes out. If we crush it, it will only spread and convince people that it's true." Littlefinger adds a masterful variation; not only will they ignore it, but they'll spread equally lurid (although false) rumors about Stannis himself to impale Stannis on the same dilemma. Although their counter-rumor has had little effect in following books and that incest rumor has become an Open Secret by the time of fifth book (where Cersei is labelled brotherfucker in her Walk of Shame after publicly admitting to adultery, which needless to say gives weight to said rumors).
  • Worm, on the Parahumans Online forum where people are noticing that the word "Cauldron" is hidden unless censored, such as with an asterisk.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the second season finale of Arrested Development, Maeby is tasked with producing an American remake of a French film about cousins who are in love with each other (mirroring George-Michael's feelings for her). Ann organizes a protest which ends up making the film a hit.
  • In the Better Call Saul episode "Hero", after Jimmy McGill uses his billboard stunt to gain publicity. The stunt involves setting up a billboard that ripped off Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill's logo, then Jimmy getting a cease-and-desist order, then arranging for a freelance media team to record him when the guy taking down the billboard "accidentally" falls, prompting Jimmy to go up and save him. The HHM team see through the ruse when watching Jimmy on the afternoon news, but decide not to pursue further action against Jimmy since doing so would be this.
  • In the Father Ted episode "The Passion of St. Tibulus", the eponymous film, condemned by the Pope as "blasphemous" and banned everywhere else, is being shown on Craggy Island because of an unknown loophole. Bishop Brennan orders Ted and Dougal to picket the cinema showing the film. The protest has the effect of making the film (which is in French and undubbed) the most popular in the history of Craggy Island.
    Bishop Brennan: People are coming all the way from GDANSK! to see the film.
  • A later episode of M*A*S*H had the gang trying to get a copy of the film The Moon Is Blue because it had been Banned In Boston. Charles, a Boston native, cautions that Boston would have banned Pinocchio, but Hawkeye and BJ pay him no heed, thinking it must be steamy. The capper to all the troubles they had obtaining it was them watching it and finding it terribly inoffensive.
    BJ: There was more filth in this morning's breakfast!
  • Discussed in The West Wing; in one episode, a photographer Sam once hired then fired has written a libelous tell-all book about the White House full of inaccurate but potentially scandalous and embarrassing half-truths and fabrications. After Sam spends the episode with a bee in his bonnet trying to do everything he can to get the book squashed and the White House to condemn every single falsehood within it, C.J and Toby sit him down and explain to him that making a huge deal out of it and using the full voice of the White House to condemn the photographer is just going to give him a bigger platform, whereas if they do nothing beyond curtly acknowledging his existence, they'll make it clear how insignificant he really is and his book will disappear before long.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Paranoia the Friend Computer decided that all the world's problems were caused by communists, causing a nuclear war, and created a very tightly controlled world that seeks to crush any communist thoughts. A communist faction does exist in the game, only because they think that it must be good because the Friend Computer thinks it is wrong. However, most records of actual communism didn't survive, and they gladly follow the teachings of Groucho Marx and John Lennon.

    Web Comics 
  • Freefall: Sam Starfall has apparently had previous practical demonstrations of this, according to this strip.
    Sam: My original mistakes never draw half the attention as my attempts to cover them up do.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Simpsons, when Homer and others are about to tour the Duff Brewery:
    Tour Guide: Welcome to the Duff Brewery. Well, I'm sure that all of you have heard the rumors that a batch of Duff was contaminated with strychnine.
    Tourists: [mumbling among themselves] No. Strychnine? That's news to me.
    Guide: Are you sure? Everyone's talking about it; it was even on CNN last night.
    Tourists: [mumbling among themselves] CNN? Whoa.
    Guide: Well, it's not true.
  • South Park:
    • The episode "Cartmanland", where Eric Cartman buys an amusement park for the sole purpose of keeping people out and having it all to himself. He might have gotten away with it if he hadn't aired commercials extolling the park and then stating no one could come. The commercials drew people's attention to the park, and rising expenses, like security to keep them out, forced him to have to let more and more people in, turning the park from a financial failure to a success. Not that Cartman cared.
    • In "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs", the kids become enthusiastic about having to read The Catcher in the Rye after finding out it was banned in some schools and supposedly inspired people to kill celebrities. When they actually read the book, however, they're annoyed that it's a normal novel with the occasional curse word.

Real life examples:

  • iPood. Not quite a Flame War fuel, but still got 753,000 results on Google (as of October 2011).
  • P.T. Barnum was a master of this, along with other publicity stunts. While traveling with his circus, he would often have a shill sue him or complain about him to the local paper, stirring up interest. The most famous example would probably be him hiring a man to sue claiming the bearded lady was truly a man. The judge recognized it as a ploy and dismissed it, but not before thousands read about the case and flocked to his show.

  • A very odd example from South Africa. In May 2012, an art exhibition was held in Johannesburg called Hail to the Thief II, which featured art by a local artist named Brett Murray. One of his paintings was called The Spear, which depicted President Jacob Zuma in a pose similar to Victor Ivanov's Lenin Lived, Lenin is Alive, Lenin Will Live, only Zuma's genitals were exposed. A newspaper, City Press ran a story of the exhibition, and printed the picture and placed it on their website. For close to a week nothing happened; then Zuma's party, the ANC, threatened to take the Goodman Gallery to court while publicly condemning the painting and demanding that City Press remove the image from their website. Because of the growing hostile response from Zuma supporters and the ruling party itself, the painting got duplicated in newspapers and websites around the world. It even led to the creation of a Wikipedia page with the offending painting right at the top.

  • One of Dara O'Briain's stand-up routines discusses the briefing notes he sometimes gets when he does corporate gigs for particular organizations which ask him not to mention certain things. Asking a comedian not to mention something, as he notes, is like "a red flag to a bull". He also points out that most of the time he wouldn't even have considered mentioning whatever he was asked not to mention in the first place if the extremely vague reasons why he shouldn't mention it hadn't made him all the more curious about it. He actually had to deal with an incident like this on Mock the Week where the executive producer ordered the comedians not to mention the blindness of a politician who the executive producer was friends with. Cue 5 minutes of jokes only about his blindness.
  • Bill Bailey had a similar bit about the Swiss investment bank UBS prohibiting corporate stand up gigs from making cracks about Nazi Gold. So Bailey walked on, mimed asking to open a pension, and when asked with what currency he replies "Naaaaaaaazzzzzziiii Goooooooooold! Just like YOU did!".

    Comic Books 
  • When Don Rosa retired from working on the Disney Ducks Comic Universe, he wrote an essay for the last of the Egmont Don Rosa Collection series of hardcovers explaining why. This was due to a combination of failing eyesight, emotional exhaustion, and disgruntlement over Disney's continued refusal to offer their comics creators anything more than a low page-rate and, when forced, minimal credits. Disney refused to allow the essay to be included in the books, which caused Rosa to put it online. As he says on the linked page, this probably resulted in far more people reading the essay than if it had been published in a high-priced book aimed at hardcore fans and comics collectors.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • By banning The Human Centipede 2 in the UK, the BBFC managed to give it large amounts of international publicity for free.
  • William Randolph Hearst was well aware of this. Rather than having his media empire attack Citizen Kane, he forbade them from mentioning it at all. It worked. Although the film managed to make enough to break its budget, the lack of publicity prevented it from being a success, and it was largely forgotten about until its revival.
  • If You Love This Planet, an anti-nuclear documentary produced by the National Film Board Of Canada, was suppressed by the U.S. Department of Justice in 1982 as "foreign political propaganda." The move backfired, causing a storm of protest that helped the film win the Academy Award for Documentary Short Subject.
  • Ted debuted at #2 in Brazil. Then a deputy tried to upgrade the film's rating on the grounds it is morally offensive (after bringing his 11-year old son to watch it, despite the "inappropriate for under 16" rating). Result: Ted topped the box office charts in the following week, repeating the gross of its debut!
  • Critics have frequently noted that in Godzilla (1998), it is constantly raining in New York City in order to cover up the model for Godzilla. The rain simply made it more obvious that they were trying to hide the Conspicuous CG.
  • Attempted with Escape from Tomorrow, an independent Sanity Slippage horror film shot guerilla-style in Disney Theme Parks without permission; however, Disney was Genre Savvy enough to recognize what they were doing and that the filmmakers lacked the money to market it beyond Disney coming after it, so they simply ignored it completely and the movie made all of $171,000 on the way to Netflix obscurity.
  • North Korea's protest against the film The Interview got it a lot more publicity than it would have on its own. Even its banning hadn't stopped public attention, as the issue of the film's cancelled premiere turned into a full out matter of freedom of speech. A significant amount of analysts even predict that at some point the whole film would get leaked, either by different hackers or those who worked on the film, just to see what all the fuss is about. Sony did it one better: they officially released the film on YouTube, who put it on the front page. Even further, North Korea particularly objected to one specific scene where Kim Jong-un, caught in an exploding helicopter, dies in slow-motion as his skin melts and his head explodes. Guess which particular scene quickly circulated throughout the Internet?
  • This was defied with Robert Webb and Olivia Colman and the film Confetti, where they played nudists but were falsely told their nudity would be pixelated in the final product. They were originally going to sue the filmmakers but then decided against it as a lawsuit would only bring more attention to the relatively obscure film.
  • The 1996 film adaptation of Crash, not to be confused with the 2004 film of the same name, came under fire from Northern Irish critic Alexander Walker, who had just seen it in Cannes. While he didn't call for it to be banned personally, the usual so-called Moral Guardians took to the streets again, with outright Narmish articles from The Daily Mail and the like demanding that the film be banned. This only drummed up British interest in going, with some surveyed audiences complaining that the uproar was disproportionate for what was an okay film, but wasn't enough for the film to make back its budget of nine million dollars.

  • In one of the oldest examples, Nicolaus Copernicus's book On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres (advancing a heliocentric universe) was put on the Vatican's index of forbidden books in 1616, and was followed less than a year later with a new edition. Not bad for a technical textbook that had been out of print for 60 years prior.
  • Lynne Cheney, wife of Dick, wrote a novel in 1981 called Sisters, featuring sexual content and lesbianism — her attempts to prevent a 2006 reprint actually helped publicize it.
  • McDonald's sued a small activist group over a flier being passed out at one of its restaurants, that alleged certain wrongdoings by the fast food chain. If left alone, only a couple hundred people may have seen it. However, the trial ended up taking over a decade and got international media attention. After spending millions on lawyers, McDonald's was awarded £60,000 in damage from the activists. Of course, it could be argued that the value of dissuading others from attempting libel was more important to them than the costs of the single trial.
  • Fox's lawsuit against Al Franken over his book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right, claimed that the title infringed on the "Fair and Balanced" slogan of the Fox News Channel. Franken and his supporters still insist the real man behind the lawsuit was Bill O'Reilly for what Franken said about him in the book. News of the lawsuit caused the book to shoot up to Amazon's number one seller before it was even officially released. As for the suit — many of the plaintiff's arguments were met with actual laughter in the courtroom, and Fox withdrew the suit at the judge's recommendation.
  • A minor example from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the author of the worst poetry in the universe is named in the original radio show as "Paul Neil Milne Johnstone of Redbridge, Essex" — a former schoolmate of Douglas Adams, who wrote deliberately terrible poetry and who respectfully asked that his name and location be removed from the book adaptations. Thus people now ask why the name changed from Paul to a 'Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings' in Sussex in subsequent versions and discover the story of where Adams got the idea from.
  • Older Than Feudalism: In one of his moral treatises, Seneca speaks of a house on the coast that was property of Caligula, which was destroyed by that emperor, because his mother was detained as a prisoner by the former emperor Tiberius. Seneca related that when strangers saw the house they didn't pay any attention to it, but since Caligula left only ruins, all were interested to know its history.
  • Dr. Jose Rizal's famous novel Noli Me Tangere, whose controversial content earned the ire of the Spanish Friars, caused the latter to declare that anyone reading it would be charged with heresy and be excommunicated. This only caused the local populace to become curious, causing sales to skyrocket.
  • Many libraries and bookstores invoke this during Banned Books Week, putting up displays of frequently banned books and prompting kids to read them to see what all the fuss is about.
  • Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses was selling a few hundred copies a week until the fatwa against Rushdie. Afterwards, it became so popular that it sold five times more copies than the #2 best-seller. It's still the publisher's best-selling book of all time.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Fawlty Towers and its main character Basil Fawlty was based on Donald Sinclair, an eccentric and irascible Torquay hotelier whom John Cleese had observed during a stay in his hotel during a Monty Python's Flying Circus shoot. Years after the success of the show, Sinclair's widow contacted the newspapers to complain about the depiction of the character based on her husband, claiming that Cleese had unfairly exaggerated his eccentricity, incompetence and foul temper. Far from salvaging her husband's reputation, however, all it did was provoke a lot of independent witnesses to also contact the papers with a lot of anecdotes that suggested that not only was Cleese not too far off the mark, if anything he'd actually been rather generous. His widow kept silent after that. Cleese ended up using the name "Donald Sinclair" for his character in Rat Race.
  • Australia's Channel Nine promoted the beans out of Underbelly, and Australians were certainly interested in this tale of the gangsters they heard about on the news. However the legal battles the show faced with issues such as the concurrent court cases leading to it being banned in Victoria out of fear of influencing the jury made this something of a Forbidden Fruit for Victorians, and interest in the show exploded to the point where radio hosts would take calls about the series being offered bootleg at construction sites, then say where they got their own illegitimate copies from.
  • Married... with Children was an extreme case. The famous Rakolta Boycott led by Terry Rakolta backfired completely. A few sponsors did withdraw support for the show, but the stocks for its biggest one, Bounty, skyrocketed, and the show's ratings dramatically increased. The boycott ultimately had the opposite effect than intended, when curiosity about the boycott and the show itself created a ratings boost for the series, potentially being the cause of it lasting for several more years. The show itself made reference to it in one episode featuring a television show made about the Bundys' lives, which got immediately cancelled because "Some woman in Michigan didn't like it".
  • Kitchen Nightmares:
    • The series has the infamous "Amy's Baking Company" episode, in which viewers watched in shock as they saw the restaurant's owners, Amy and Samy, berate customers, employees and even Gordon Ramsay himself, their egos clouding even the basic of criticism and interpreted it as attacks. When the episode was over, many of the viewers approached their Facebook page to express their displeasure, only to have the two blow up at them. Many people came to friend it on the basis of watching their meltdown.
    • This has also ironically benefited Amy's Baking Company, thanks to the Bile Fascination. People go there now are either a), people who don't believe anyone can really be that bad at owning a restaurant and still be in business, thinking it was all set up as fake "reality" TV for ratings, or b), people who go there specifically to provoke a response from Amy or Samy as some weird badge of honor of having been yelled at by them.
  • A campaign to ban Housos from Australian TV backfired when two big TV networks, 9 and 7, slammed the show as Reality TV filth. When it was pointed out that Housos is actually a satire with paid actors (and had never pretended to be anything else) they ended up promoting it instead to cover their embarrassment. Its creator, Paul Fenech, credited this with bringing the show to a wider audience.
  • More than one creator involved with Doctor Who in the seventies and eighties has said that, while they never intentionally sought the attention of the National Viewers and Listeners Association, they knew to expect a ratings spike whenever it happened.
  • In November 2015, The Iowa Republican party explicitly forbade The Daily Show with Trevor Noah from having their correspondents attend an event because "[they] were afraid they were going to make fun of Iowa." So, host Trevor Noah and correspondent Jordan Klepper proceeded to mock Iowa in a manner of wishing they could.
  • Ben Affleck appeared on the genealogy program Finding Your Roots, and learned that he he was distantly related to his close friend Matt Damon, but also had ancestors who owned slaves in Georgia. Embarrassed, he succeeded in getting that information removed from his particular episode, until it was learned that he had that information removed. He ended up issuing a press release apologizing for the act.

  • After the release of the Queen song "Death on Two Legs," former band manager Norman Sheffield decided to sue for defamation, despite the fact that he was never mentioned by name. He succeeded only in informing the world whom the song's scathing insults were targeting.
  • Metallica's hardline stance on peer-to-peer downloading resulted only in their songs being even more widely pirated. Other bands were hit by this to a lesser degree.
  • Drake averts this, in fact he almost inverts this. Even though both of his albums have been leaked ahead of time, he usually is okay with it, though his record company is not as happy.
  • One Direction:
    • Fans shipped Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson and nobody thought much of it. Then all public contact between the two suddenly stopped and they awkwardly denied it a few times. Now the fans have entire essays of complied evidence that they are actually in a relationship that their management covers up.
    • There was also the time an article praised Louis for supporting the LGBT community and angry tweets came from his Twitter account saying he wasn't gay. Later on, Zayn, who hasn't even spoken to them in months, was asked about fans invading his privacy and he randomly said that Harry and Louis weren't together. Okay guys.
  • When Tipper Gore announced that she was trying to censor 2Live Crew's music in the late '80s, their music became even more popular. Tipper Gore and the PMRC were the Streisand Effect of the '80s, almost every band they went after for inappropriate lyrics and whatnot ended up becoming even more popular due to the publicity. In particular, one of the PMRC's biggest targets, WASP, saw their record sales double and vocalist Black Lawless was all too happy to use them as a vehicle to promote the band. Finally, like the Eminem example below, during one awards speech, Steven Tyler thanked Tipper Gore for ensuring that if an album had a few dirty words on it, it would sell an extra million copies.
  • After some radio stations banned Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young" due to its perceived anti-Catholic message, the album it was on — The Stranger — shot up the charts.
  • An example of genre savviness; Eminem, after receiving an award for his breakthrough album, publicly thanked all the people who threw a shit-fit over said album for making it a hit.
  • Weird Al benefits from this from time to time. For example:
    • Coolio's anger over "Amish Paradise" helped make the song a bigger hit.
    • Before Straight Outta Lynwood was released, "You're Pitiful" a parody of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful" was set to be the lead single. At the last minute, Atlantic Records changed their mind, and "White and Nerdy" became the lead instead. And Al released the song for free and performs it on tour, mocking Atlantic in the process. And due to the backlash (and the video for "White and Nerdy"), the Other Wiki had to lock Atlantic's page to prevent Al's angry fans from defacing it.
    • "Perform This Way", Al's parody of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way", looked to be a case of this at first — he wasn't given permission to publish it, so he put it up on YouTube instead and it became an immediate sensation. It became such a sensation, in fact, that it eventually came to the notice of Lady Gaga herself, who hadn't actually been consulted on the original decision. She thought it was hilarious and gave Al the go-ahead.
  • When the Sex Pistols released "God Save the Queen" in 1977, both the BBC and the IBA refused to broadcast the song. It quickly reached number one on the singles chart. However, doubt and controversy remains as to whether the Sex Pistols actually did get to #1 with "God Save the Queen." Officially, an anodyne ballad by Rod Stewart was number one that week. However, well-founded allegations persist that the charts were doctored by BBC and recording company executives, fearful for their chances of retiring with knighthoods.
  • The BBC expressed concern following the scurrilous and seditious popularity of a re-release of Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead! note  which coincided with the death of Margaret Thatcher. While in the event this did not get to number one, the BBC refused to play it, even in the relevant Radio One Chart Show.
  • In 1991, at the CMA awards, the video of the year went to Garth Brooks, "The Thunder Rolls". In his speech, he thanked TNN and CMT for having banned the video and brought attention to it.
  • Beck used to end interviews angrily if the subject of him being involved with the Church of Happyology was brought up. Back in the '90s, this wasn't widely known, nor was it publicized. But due to his reactions, his connection with the church and attempts to suppress it became one of the most identifiable things about him. He has since become a bit more comfortable about this due to the fact that he knows that his fans are mostly accepting of it, but he still leaves huge gaps when talking about his childhood.
  • Madonna made frequent use of this between 1989-1993, from the moment that her 1989 video for "Like A Prayer" resulted in her partnership with Pepsi being terminated (causing the single to hit #1 on the Hot 100 becoming one of her biggest selling singles of all time). In 1990, the music video for "Justify My Love" was banned by MTV. The music video was subsequently sold on VHS, ultimately becoming certified 4x platinum. The single also shot to #1 on the Hot 100. Her 1992 album "Erotica" and photo book "Sex" were also big sellers, both fueled by the controversy and public backlash.

    New Media 
  • This is a well known counteract on YouTube. If it happens, you can expect the offending video will be mirrored on several channels the next day.
  • The MPAA encountered this in 2007; it attempted to stop popular social aggregator Digg from allowing an encryption key to the HD-DVD and Blu-ray formats from being posted with a DMCA takedown. When the takedown attempt became public knowledge, hundreds of stories containing the key were submitted and upvoted on Digg. For hours, dozens of repetitions of the magic number formed literally the only content on the entire front page of the site. Simultaneously, dozens of other websites mirrored the key in defiance of the censorship. Eventually, Digg executives threw up their hands and said, "Fine. You guys want this information here so bad, so we won't try to stop you anymore." And the MPAA couldn't really do anything about it, because the way Digg works, the chances were slightly worse than "hopeless" that the initial DMCA takedown would have really worked anyway. More people probably can recognize the string of numbers that who ever bought a HD-DVD player. Predictably, some people posted the encryption key on That Other Wiki, and the administration wanted to have it removed. This led to the same effect in miniature, as other editors copied the key to their user pages and let it spread like wildfire all over again.
  • The Church of Scientology ran afoul of the effect in 2008: their DMCA takedown of a video on YouTube of Tom Cruise talking about Scientology resulted in the eventual creation of Project Chanology, the ongoing Internet-based crusade to have the Church's status as a religion revoked and to bring to light the various wrongdoings of the Church. Similarly, after Chanology's creation, attempts by Scientology to have specific documents about the Church and the religion itself erased from the Internet have failed miserably, with mirrors popping up almost as soon as a takedown attempt is issued. Much earlier was Scientology's attempt to shut down the Usenet group 'alt.religion.scientology' in 1995. From this point on, it's called Scientology vs. the Internet.
  • In 2009, an advertisement from fashion company Ralph Lauren was posted on the blog "Photoshop Disasters" and tech news website Boing Boing because of the excessively thin appearance of the model in the ad. Ralph Lauren sent a DMCA takedown notice to both Blogspot (the host of "Photoshop Disasters") and Boing Boing; while Blogspot removed the post, Boing Boing refused on the grounds of fair use and publicly mocked the takedown notice in a satirical rebuttal. From there, the story picked up steam and was talked about on hundreds of other websites and blogs, each one mirroring the ad in question. Days later, Ralph Lauren apologized for the horrible Photoshop, not for the DMCA takedown notice.
  • In February 2010, Microsoft forced security web site Cryptome offline with a DMCA takedown notification to their hosting company, due to Cryptome hosting Microsoft's "Global Criminal Compliance Handbook" — a guide on the surveillance services Microsoft performs for law enforcement agencies on its online platforms — for all to see. When Cryptome went down, the web replied in kind, with many sites hosting the document themselves in protest of the DMCA takedown. Microsoft eventually saw what kind of a backlash they were risking, and backpedaled quite furiously: they pulled the takedown notice, apologized to Cryptome and its readers (saying they only wanted to have the document taken down, not the entire site), and worked with Cryptome's hosting company to get the site back up as fast as possible.
  • Wikileaks. The U.S. government felt huge concern when Wikileaks stated that it would leak something very big. Much to their fear, they leaked 250,000 cables, pissing them off enough that the Pentagon was reported to have been looking for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's location. More people have heard about it. And for a time, Google suggested it when you typed the very first letter of its name, suggesting it above even The Other Wiki.
  • Once, a woman in Wisconsin posted a comment on a blog. The blog owner later let the blog's domain name lapse, and it was taken over by a namesquatter who redirected visitors to various sexually explicit websites. Some time later, the lady did a Yahoo! search on her own name and was mortified to find that one of the links in the result set led to porn. She set out to restore her good name and reputation, and figured that the best way to do this would be to sue Yahoo! for willful malicious defamation. In open court, she offered to prove that she was a sophisticated, well-educated and highly intelligent professional woman, with important and valuable friends, that she in no way had ever engaged in a promiscuous lifestyle, or other overt sexual activities, and that she had written two poems that appear on Danish Web sites supporting the preservation of the baby seal population in eastern Canada. For this she was roundly ridiculed in the blogosphere. Then it appears that Anonymous took an interest in the case. Guess what the poor lady now finds when she Googles herself?
  • When British footballer Ryan Giggs was caught having an affair with former Big Brother contestant Imogen Thomas, his lawyers filed a super-injunction to keep Thomas from selling her story and the news media from revealing his name. Many news channels and magazines took offence to that, starting a debate on the nature of super-injunctions and using many Suspiciously Specific Denials to hint at his identity. When his name was revealed on Twitter, he had his lawyers try to sue Twitter for ignoring the injunction. Twitter, of course, is not bound by UK law and this action only caused many celebrities and ordinary users hitting back by revealing his name in their feeds. Congratulations, Giggs: You made an enemy of both the Old Media and the New Media and turned a one-shot story that would have grabbed the attention of a small portion of the public for a few days into a national debate that went on for weeks, while becoming the laughing stock of the foreign media, who are not bound by UK laws. The entire mess eventually reached Parliament, where questions were raised about how relevant the law was considering the rise of social media. You know you messed up when the Prime Minister is talking about your affair in the democratic forum of the nation.
    MP John Hemming: It would not be practical to imprison the 75,000 Twitter users who had named the player.
  • A debate between Jerry Coyne and John Haught on the subject of compatibility between science and religion ended with the audience firmly on the side of Coyne. After this Haught refused to allow the video of the debate to be distributed. The backlash to this refusal reached far more people than would normally have been bothered to watch a one-hour academic debate.
  • In 2008, the other wiki's page of the Scorpions' Virgin Killer album became one of the most popular pages on the site after the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation blacklisted it for containing "a potentially illegal indecent image of a child under the age of 18", and the image was even spread across other sites as a result of the publicity. The IWF de-listed it three days later.
  • In 2011, two teenagers, Austin Zhender and Will Frey, allegedly sexually assaulted 16-year-old Savannah Dietrich at a party, leading to a double dose of this. The first came after both boys made a plea bargain admitting to felony sexual abuse and misdemeanor voyeurism; in exchange, the court (attempted to) forbid Savannah from identifying her attackers under threat of jail time - she later posted about the incident on Twitter, and the story was promptly snapped up and spread like wildfire across the Internet. The second dose came after the boys' lawyer attempted to silence her a ''second'' time, accusing her of "ruining at least one of their lives" and attempting to have the boys' names removed from the Internet, leading to still more backlash against Zhender and Frey. The entire debacle has ensured that information about the incident, which would have otherwise been completely disregarded by the media and eventually forgotten, received significant media attention and is now on prominent display across the Internet for everyone to read.
  • An interesting variation: in 2013, shortly after Barack Obama stated that he goes skeet shooting, the White House posted a picture of the president firing a gun. Pretty standard procedure; President says a thing, White House releases a photograph that news outlets can use when reporting on the thing. However, the photograph in question came with a note that stated that the photograph was not allowed to be manipulated in any way. This caught the attention of a handful of people on the Internet, and so within a few days there was a significant increase in pictures of Obama firing Super Soakers and ray guns, while shooting at everything else. A few months later, the President himself made light of this during a press dinner and showed a photoshopping of it himself.
  • In February 2013, Beyoncé's publicist ordered for some "unflattering" pictures of her that were taken during her Super Bowl performance to be "removed from the Internet." The result? Hundreds of photoshopped pictures.
  • The Swedish Language Council found that more and more people were using the word "ogooglebar" - "ungoogleable" - and added it to a list of neologisms, noting that most people seemed to use it to mean "something you can't find on the Internet" rather than "something you can't find specifically through the services of Google, Inc"; after all, "google" isn't capitalized in the word. Google threatened legal action unless the Language Council removed it or let them define exactly what the word should mean in Swedish. Cue millions of Swedes who couldn't care less before taking every chance to use the word, turning it from a word used by a few to a generally accepted term.
  • In April 2013, the French domestic intelligence agency DCRI attempted to have an article about a military radio station deleted from the French version of The Other Wiki, first appealing directly to Wikimedia to have it removed and then, when that didn't work, pressuring a French-based administrator with "reprisals" if he didn't remove it. This, naturally, caught the Internet's attention; the article was swiftly reinstated, there's now an English version of the page, and now a lot more people know about the station's existence than if French authorities had simply left that article alone.
  • IMDb was sued for $1 million by an actress named Junie Hoang for publishing her date of birth. She alleged that the site facilitated age discrimination but lost the case. So now the whole world knows she was born on July 16, 1971.
  • An online store called Kleargear invoked a non-disparagement clause to "fine" a woman $3,500 for breach of contract. Why? She posted a negative review on Rip Off Report because the item her husband ordered didn't turn up, which breaks a term. Only problem? That term wasn't there when she ordered it, and the review had been up for years. That's right, these people deliberately ruined a woman's credit rating because she wrote a negative review for failing to send items. Cue Internet Backdraft. This Redditer sums up why this was a terrible idea:
    Apockalupsis: Cool, so since the vast majority of people reading about this story have never bought anything from Kleargear, and thus never "bound" themselves to this obviously ridiculous contract, we're free to flood the Internet with negative reviews about them. Congratulations, dumb webshop owners, you've not only gotten a first-hand lesson in the Streisand Effect, you've turned one unhappy customer's review into literally the end of your business!
  • Office Depot sent a DMCA takedown order to Reddit. The whole thing exploded quickly.
  • Bryon Beaubien from Fireball 20XL become a victim of this effect in 2014 after a long series of Tumblr-posts, such as this one, detailing many stories from his past friends and relationships where Bryon was described as being incredibly abusive towards many of them, including tales about how he was guilty of conducting death threats, harassment, cheating, pedophilia etc. That alone was rather bad for his reputation, but what made the matter far worse for his and Fireball 20XL's reputation was that Bryon then responded by trying to further threaten many of the people who shared their stories about him, use copyright claims to take down videos about the stories and delete as many of his posts that could confirm the stories told about him. Faster than you can say "Reputation Suicide", the stories about Bryon spread like wildfire throughout the internet with many people now refusing to associate with his website in the slightest. This eventually lead to the website and Beaubien vanishing from the internet altogether.
  • Frederick County, Maryland, Council member Kirby Delauter said on Facebook to a Frederick News-Post reporter, "Use my name again unauthorized and you'll be paying for an Attorney [sic]. Your rights stop where mine start." With such a Critical Research Failure, it's no surprise that several newspapers and associated sites mockingly corrected him. Perhaps most notable is an editorial titled "Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter, Kirby Delauter" in (you guessed it) The Frederick News-Post. The memetic use of his name has received widespread coverage everywhere from NPR to The BBC.
  • On February 4, 2015, Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe fell down on a small flight of stairs after giving a speech. The Zimbabwe government not only denied he ever fell, but ordered journalists and websites to take the photo down. Cue Mugabe's fall becoming a Memetic Mutation almost overnight, with it hitting the front page of the Pics and Photoshop Battles subreddits and inspiring numerous parodies.
  • The efforts of British YouTuber Craig Dillon, who was accused of sexually assaulting at least eight men, to cover his tracks went disastrously wrong. After sending any videomaker a notice from his "solicitor" threatening to sue them into silence, it later turned out that he had posed as his own attorney, causing the accusations to simply be discussed further.
  • In 2006, Brazilian model and hostess Daniela Cicarelli was filmed having sex with her boyfriend in a public beach in Spain. There were injunctions to remove the video from YouTube. Eventually, the Brazilian government had YouTube shut down for a time. Of course, this caused many people to share the video.
  • After an incident in 2011 where police pepper-sprayed protesting students who were already in custody on the grounds of the campus, UC Davis paid upwards of US$175,000 to try to prevent the incident from coming up in searches related to the university or its Chancellor, Linda P.B. Katehi on the Internet. They utterly failed in their goal.
  • On May 5, 2016, Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton demanded that an unflattering picture of himself be removed from Twitter. Twitter... was disinclined to acquiesce to his request.

    Print Media 
  • Suing Private Eye for libel never does anyone any good. All it does is draw out the Eye's story and attract the attention of other news sources. Even if you win, no one has enough faith in British libel law (or the Eye's ability to defend a case) to believe that this means it isn't true.
  • Protests against depictions of Mohammed in print media have had this effect in Western society.
    • In 2006, a Danish publication Jyllands-Posten published a series of cartoons depicting Mohammed, which caused deadly riots and protests. In response, other Western publications also ran the cartoons as a defense of free speech.
    • In 2015, the French magazine Charlie Hebdo was attacked by terrorists in response to repeated depictions of Mohammed. Before the attack, the magazine was sliding into bankruptcy and only managing to sell about 30,000 of each 60,000 magazine run. For their next issue, demand caused Charlie Hebdo to print seven million copies, and #JeSuisCharlie (French for "I am Charlie") trended worldwide as a show of solidarity. Furthermore, the attacks sparked massive support for the publication and caused the offending cartoons to be seen worldwide across the Internet.

    Tabletop Games 
  • There is a real chance that if it weren't for Patricia Pulling and her campaign against Dungeons & Dragons, the game would have remained a niche market and probably never would have become the geekdom rite of passage it has become. This also had a run in 1980 with the disappearance of James Egbert III, a young man who played the game. The detective assigned to Egbert's disappearance wrote a book about it, suggesting the game had something to do Egbert going missing. It didn't, and Egbert was eventually found alive and unhurt. Still, Dungeons and Dragons went from grossing $2.3 million in 1979 to $8.7 million in 1980, largely as a result of all the negative press denouncing it as "Satanic propaganda;" many people ended up playing it just to see what all the fuss was about.

    Video Games 
  • Any time there is an unintentional announcement of a future video game, a leak of any kind concerning a game in development, or a game that was released before the street date, expect the affected publisher to start using cease and desist letters, copyright takedowns, or even legal action against the leakers. This results in more attention for the upcoming or soon to be released game(s) thanks to people mirroring the taken down content all over the Internet. For example, IGN took down a video that inadvertently revealed the release date for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain a day early.
  • Eurogamer writer Robert Florence posted an article about how video game journalists seem to be indistinguishable from public relations, which included some tweets from Lauren Wainwright regarding her suspicious enthusiasm towards the new Tomb Raider game and her defending a journalist's right to win a free PlayStation 3 by advertising on Twitter. Instead of writing a rebuttal or simply ignoring the article, Wainwright threatened legal action for libel against Eurogamer, causing Eurogamer to remove the tweets from Florence's article, and Florence to resign soon afterwards. The story spread like wildfire, and it also dug out more suspicious information, such as Wainwright's freelance employment with Square Enix, the publisher of Tomb Raider. Wainwright tried to do damage control by insisting that no legal threats were made and even removed Square Enix from her resume, but screencaps of her unaltered resume and Florence's original article are mirrored everywhere.
  • At E3 2013, Geoff Keighley interviewed Don Mattrick (the then-President of Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft) about the Xbox One. When asked about the console's then-mandatory Internet connection, Mattrick said that if fans didn't like it, they should buy an Xbox 360 instead. Microsoft immediately attempted to take down every video related to the interview, but news of it had already spread.
  • The Cynical Brit:
    • He did a first impression video for a game titled Day One: Garry's Incident. Midway through the video, he stated that the game had a lot of potential, but was poorly executed. By the end of the video, however, he'd seen and experienced so many bad things about the game that he ended up heavily panning it. The developer, Wild Games Studio, didn't like his criticism. As a result, they used YouTube's infamous copyright takedown feature to remove the video, later claiming that "TotalBiscuit has no right to make advertising revenues with our license". This caused the Brit to post a less than 15-minute video calling them out for the abuse, and gave hard evidence that debunked their claims. He also took the opportunity to point out instances of other, smaller channels being trampled on via the Copyright system (e.g. the Sega incident). The original video is back up on the Brit's channel, and all the developer did was further increase their infamy, as people now not only know that their game sucks, but also that they're sore losers about it. The view counts on these videos:
      • The first impression (before removal): 150 thousand.
      • The first impression (after its restoration): over 1 million.
      • The video about the removal: over 4 million and counting.
    • It happened again. This time, it involved the developer of Guise of the Wolf. After he made two videos displaying how horribly bug-ridden and poorly designed the game is, the developer also tried to use the Copyright Notice feature to not only remove the video, but also erase the Brit's channel, with such claims as "...Our company is a lot bigger then your little youtube channel." This ended about as well for them as it did for the developer of Day One: Garry's Incident.
  • Pictures of a digital Ellen Page, found by playing Beyond: Two Souls in the debug mode, were uploaded to the Internet and got a modest number of views. When Sony tried to have them all taken down, interest in the pictures skyrocketed. The digital Page happens to be naked, by the way, so NSFW warning.
  • Jimquisition:
    • In a Jimquisition episode covering Earth: Year 2066, Jim Sterling posted evidence of the game developer that tried to remove anything negative that was posted about the game, including his own replies to criticisms, in the Steam community hub. Sterling pointed out that such actions would only cause people to post their impressions of the early access game elsewhere for all to see. Not surprisingly, this sort of thing happens quite often for many games.
    • Taken to another level when Sterling did a cold/blind/first playthrough of The Slaughtering Grounds for his YouTube channel and wasn't impressed by the game's bugs, bad design, and lack of direction. The developer behind the game took the impressions as a massive attack towards his work and retaliated by reposting Sterling's video and threw up a bunch of text on top of it that was making fun of him. Sterling found the entire thing hilarious and responded by reposting the video containing the developer's response with his own commentary. The developer then posted another video of the re-repost where he just blatantly attacks Sterling. People got wind of the tantrum and started to criticize the developer on the Steam forums, which got them swiftly banned by the developer. To top it all off, the developers issued a copyright strike against Sterling, which got his first impressions video taken down. While Sterling's original video was down for a few weeks, he was successful in his counter claim and his video was restored. To rub salt in the wound, Sterling dedicated his victory to playing the game for 2 hours to show everyone just how bad it was and to stick it to the developer who said Sterling wasn't allowed to critique the game unless he played longer.
    • Digital Homicide, the same developers behind The Slaughtering Grounds, made another game called Deadly Profits, which is naturally full of bugs and is on Steam's early access for $25. Sterling did a squirty play of it and wasn't impressed by the game. Knowing that people would warn others on the Steam forums about the game's shoddiness, Digital Homicide purges the forums of any "negative" threads and swiftly bans anyone that has anything bad to say about the game or if they even mention Sterling at all. Obviously, this only helped spread the word about the game's shoddiness and the company's reputation faster. And then Digital Homicide tried to sue Sterling for ruining them.
    • Digpex Games, the sole developer behind Skate Man: Intense Rescue, issued a copyright strike against Sterling after he had posted his impressions of the developer's trailer for the game that consisted of horrible ideas, laughable execution, and a frame rate that was in the single digits. Unlike Digital Homicide, Digpex Games seemingly made the greenlight trailer to bait Sterling out just so the developer could "teach him a lesson" because said developer saw how Sterling treated other indie developers in the past and couldn't stand it. Naturally, this tactic didn't work and it created the opposite effect; Sterling gotten even more famous while Digpex Games were now known for being sour grapes over how he critiques things.
    • This happens to Sterling so often that he wrote an article called Another Monday, Another Copyright Claim, pointing out that developers abusing ContentID in an attempt to stifle criticism has become practically normal.
  • Review embargoes tend to become this whenever a game studio knows their product isn't up to snuff and enforce an embargo on reviewers so the studio can cash in on consumers swayed by the hype without them knowing about the issues. It hardly ever works out that way. For example, Assassin's Creed: Unity had an unprecedented review embargo that ended twelve hours after the game's release. All in all, a) the game was a buggy mess, and b) the primary topic of conversation was not the game itself but the absurd and abusive embargo.
  • In April 2015, Super Bunnyhop made a video concerning Konami based on the information that he was told about the company.note  Konami didn't like this, so they attempted to use YouTube's copyright claims system to have the video removed. They briefly succeed by claiming about 29 seconds of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance footage used in the video. However, the video was restored by YouTube because Konami didn't properly use the copyright takedown.note  Super Bunnyhop then made a follow-up video. Unlike most most examples, he used the opportunity to point out that the controversy was actually beneficial for everybody, including Konami.
  • When Hatred first appeared on Steam Greenlight, it was taken down after a short period of time. At the time it was taken down, the game was ranked #7 on the Greenlight board. After Hatred was placed back on Greenlight, it was ranked #1 in only a few hours. More than a few people concluded from the get go that the devs where banking on this and similar to drum up free publicity for a mediocre, cheaply made game.

    Web Comics 
  • Penny Arcade:
    • Their legal run-in with American Greetings over a Strawberry Shortcake parody image resulted in the image being spread across the Internet on such a wide basis that it's very easy to find the image nowadays, even though it's no longer on the Penny Arcade site. To this day, Archive Bingers are taking note of AG's overly-protective legal department. Given the near-universal demographic and high fungibility of the greeting card industry, it's safe to say that they're still losing the occasional sale to it.
    • Not to mention the Ocean Marketing debacle: Paul Christoforo, the president of a PR and distribution firm named Ocean Marketing, sent unkind, unprofessional, and terribly written emails out to several customers of N-Control, a company that manufactures and sells the Avenger Controller, a modified PS3 controller designed with folks with fine motor impairment in mind. Paul made unsubstantiated claims of how soon the controllers would ship out, lowered the price to attract new customers while not even offering the customers who would be waiting for several more weeks a ten percent compensatory discount, eventually started addressing disgruntled customers by telling them their business in a condescending tone, threatened to cancel an order placed by at least one customer and sell the controllers on eBay himself, and went around claiming to know head editors at gaming news blogs like IGN and Kotaku, to try to deflect complaints by making himself seem like an important figure. Dave, one customer unlucky enough to have dealt with him, shared the series of email correspondence with Gabe himself, who stepped in to tell Paul that Ocean Marketing would not be welcome at PAX any longer — something Paul was initially disbelieving of, since he had no idea who he was talking to, at first. He made an about-face when he realized just how tremendous his mistake was, but by the time he connected the dots, it was already too late. That one series of emails set off a chain reaction that effectively killed Ocean Marketing and, with it, Paul's career. As the dust began settling, it became obvious Paul wasn't genuinely sorry for how he behaved — he was just sorry he got caught lying to, verbally abusing, and cheating N-Control's customers.
  • Christian Weston Chandler, creator of Sonichu, was initially just a random comic artist with big, yet child-like, dreams. The effect kicked in after a random encounter with a member of 4chan led to the creation of an Encyclopedia Dramatica web page. His attempts to get rid of it, and the incidents it caused on the Internet and in real life, would lead to more people to find out more about this man and his creation. And a whole lot more, but that's a completely different story.

    Web Original 
  • David Gonterman's run-ins with the Streisand Effect date back to about 1995-1998. Initially an unexceptional fanfiction writer and comic artist with enough weirdness to attract a number of MSTs, he invoked the effect when he started throwing tantrums over any criticism and went on a crusade to get all his works deleted from the Internet. A number of websites dedicated to archiving his works popped up. On the flip side, were it not for this effect, he would never have achieved the Z-list cult celebrity status he enjoys today.
  • Channel Awesome's The Nostalgia Critic reviewed Tommy Wiseau's magnum opus The Room, one of many, many films he has torn to shreds on his site. Then he got hit with a threat of a lawsuit by stating that his review constituted a copyright violation, despite the fact that fair use policy covers reviews of original material. In response, he pulled the review, but put up in its place an "episode" of "The Tommy Wiseau Show" which mocked the stuffing out of Wiseau himself and the guy who runs the This brought way more negative publicity to the movie, the website, and the names behind it than any review ever could have. After a short while, the review was allowed to be put back up. The "Tommy Wiseau Show" sketch is also still up.
  • On April 27, 2013, a Journal Roleplayer created a journal with the intent on RPing a character from The Slutcracker, a sex-filled parody of The Nutcracker. After posting on the testing journal "Dear Mun", the first post is of its creator, Vanessa White, who demands in public that the pictures she used for the journal and the journal itself be removed or face legal action, leaving the poor fan to quickly remove everything. Other RPers take her to task, leading her to delete the account she created.
  • Feminist Frequency. She started a Kickstarter. People angered by her message harassed her in an attempt to silence her. Cue massive media attention (and facepalming). Inversely, because the comments section of her videos has been disabled, many people have made their own videos to point out the inaccuracies of some of her claims.
  • Pewdiepie has done quite a bit of these by accident in which he apologizes to them, but the biggest one that has happened is the entire "YouTube Drama" fiasco in which he points out that drama needs to stop because it affects everybody by being on the edge of their seats. His main point, however, is about the people who use the mob mentality as a way to police a YouTuber to attack and ruin someone's life. Unfortunately, people kind of latched on the drama part and barely anybody briefly touched upon his main point. Felix has admitted that he kind of jumped the gun on this one as he didn't really explain his main point properly.

    Western Animation 
  • In an 2011 interview with The New York Times Magazine, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the co-creators of South Park, were asked if they ever found out whether or not Tom Cruise was responsible for pressuring Viacom into not rebroadcasting the episode "Trapped in the Closet" despite his denial. This was Stone's response:
    It was Tom Cruise! Who else would it be? It was Tom Cruise! And it was just stupid of Tom Cruise and Viacom, because it made more people see the episode.