The Streisand effect

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The Streisand effect

Post by spot »

Ex-Tory MP threatens to sue Cambridge University over slavery research

Student says he has been pressured to remove a reference to Antoinette Sandbach, a descendant of a slave merchant

The former Tory MP Antoinette Sandbach has threatened the University of Cambridge with legal action after a historian named her as a descendant of merchants who enslaved his ancestors.

Malik Al Nasir, a third-year PhD history student at St Catharine’s College, has spent the past 20 years exploring his family’s history of slavery and the wealth that was built from those who enslaved them. ... e-sandbach

I don't believe we have ever had a thread on The Streisand Effect. Clearly a major omission on the site's part.

The current site count on Google searching for Antoinette Sandbach slavery is 65. Oops - 67. One wonders what it will reach. I'll let the thread know if we get a legal poke, it's not unknown here.

Here's Malik Al Nasir's TED talk.

Attempts to suppress information are often made through cease-and-desist letters, but instead of being suppressed, the information sometimes receives extensive publicity, as well as the creation of media such as videos and spoof songs, which can be mirrored on the Internet or distributed on file-sharing networks. In addition, seeking or obtaining an injunction to prohibit something from being published or to remove something that is already published can lead to increased publicity of the published work.

The Streisand effect is an example of psychological reactance, wherein once people are aware that some information is being kept from them, they are significantly more motivated to get and spread it.

I note, from her own self-serving anodyne publicity pack online, that "Antoinette practised as a criminal barrister for 12 years from her Chambers in Bedford Row". She should therefore have been well aware of blowback like this before she escalated her extraordinarily dicey tactics. The sensible and obvious thing would have been to thank Malik Al Nasir and contribute to the discussion. The first obvious response to this viral reaction, without which nothing will improve, is for her to recognize the complete insensitivity of hounding from her privileged position and issue the most honest public apology she can muster. A knee-jerk pulling the plug on a personal web-server is very low on the list of rational moves, it's more like blind panic.

I'll come back and post a link to the eventual thesis when it's online.
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