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The 15 Craziest Victims of the Streisand Effect

Updated 31 May 2019 89.9k views15 items

List RulesPeople who have tried to censor something, but instead raised awareness of said thing.

Streisand Effect victims are the celebrities, companies, and even whole countries whose attempts to censor or hide some bad press completely backfired, only to make the situation a million times worse. All of these "victims" learned the hard way that sometimes responding to an unfortunate story isn't really the best policy - as igniting the fires of the Internet lynch mob almost always has catastrophic consequences.

Of course, the first and most well-known victim is Barbra Streisand herself. The singer's attempts to censor a photo of her Malibu, California, home are why the Streisand Effect is a thing. She was not, however, the last victim. This phenomenon, wherein Internet users grab their pitchforks and don't take too kindly to censorship, has been repeated with the companies like Samsung and Ralph Lauren, groups like Wikileaks (who actually benefited from this activism) and the Church of Scientology, and popular celebrities, such as singer Beyonce and footballer Ryan Giggs.

Few companies faced the backlash as badly as Amy's Baking Company, though. When cafe was featured on the reality show "Kitchen Nightmares," host Gordon Ramsay gave up on the owners, citing their inflexibility and unpleasant work environment. The company then went on an all-out war with those "Internet bullies" who dared to talk badly about them. The battle certainly didn't paint the company in a great light, but it was pretty comical to witness.

If these examples prove anything, it's that sometimes it's better to let a bad story just burn out on its own. Wait until those 15 seconds are up and people will move on to the next best thing. Until "victims" learn this lesson though, the Streisand Effect victims will surely continue.
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