The Streisand Effect is an Internet phenomenon where an attempt to censor or remove a piece of information backfires, causing the information to be widely publicized. Glenn Beck is experiencing the Streisand Effect first hand.
Since the parody web site launched asking if Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990, it has become a fast moving Internet meme. Within a couple days, lawyers representing Beck’s media company, Mercury Radio Arts, contacted the host, registrar, etc. to try and have the site taken down and to learn of the identity of the site’s anonymous owner. The main domain was down briefly, but is back up, accompanied by several other back up domain names, including GB1990.com. There is also a new Facebook page.
Over the past few days, since the lawyers got involved, the meme has only grown, now receiving attention from well-known sites such as Ars Technica, MediaBistro, Techdirt and Gawker. It was also mentioned by Keith Olbermann, though it was in his Worst Persons segment and didn’t mention the site by name. Regardless, Google searches for Glenn Beck soon came with suggestions for rape and murder, thus helping it snowball further.
Trying to have a web site shut down, especially one associated with a popular meme, such as this, is only going to draw more attention to the meme itself. Members of sites, like Reddit, love to come to the defense of people they feel are attacked by companies with deep pockets and the meme will only continue to grow.
So, like Barbara Streisand trying to have pictures of her ocean-front property removed from the Internet, Glenn Beck has only added to the sensation that may or may not involve crimes against a young woman in 1990 (He has yet to comment).