Risk of provoking ‘Streisand effect’ could backfire

The ‘Streisand effect’ was promoted on Whale Oil recently as a way of extending a smear campaign against Clarke Gayford.

The Streisand effect is a phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information which has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet.

Forcing targets into a ‘Streisand effect’ seems to be one of their favoured tactics. Yesterday ‘SB’ helpfully described it:

Using the court system to try to silence journalists has sadly become more and more common these days. While legal jihad does have a ‘chilling effect’ on other journalists it also brings to the public’s attention the facts and allows the journalist (while defending themselves) to keep the facts in the public eye for a much longer time than they previously could have.

Admittedly this comes at a great emotional and financial cost but the person putting them through the ordeal is one hundred percent responsible for creating the ‘Streisand effect’ and ensuring that what they wanted hidden will be spread far and wide.

And typically trying to absolve themselves of responsibility and blame the target of the smears.

However trying to generate a ‘Streisand effect’ has risks of backfiring. Keeping dirty smear tactics in the public eye is not going to do anything to protect any reputation that WO may still have, let alone repair substantial damage already done.

There are a couple of things that may get attention over the next few months that could highlight WO hypocrisy and the potential for own goals when trying to provoke a ‘Streisand effect’.

Hypocritical because I know of  number of attempts by WO to attack and silence other media and then suppress the details. The attempted hack of The Standard is one – Slater’s attempt to keep that suppressed created attention and highlighted his double standards,

There’s more to emerge that would reveal further attempts to use suppression to keep a gag on targets while trying to shut them up – while running parallel public smear campaigns. That has turned out to be a farce that will be embarrassing when it receives the public scrutiny it deserves.

There’s another case pending where a ‘Streisand effect’ may be attempted, along the lines that SB has described, and that could easily backfire. But they may be dumb enough to keep trying it anyway.

Once credibility and reputations have gone dirty then mud slinging can be like pissing in the wind.


A record of some rumourmongering

This is a record of one individual who has attempted some Gayford rumourmongering here, in a narrow focus on an issue that has been spread across various media. It doesn’t attempt to answer where the rumours came from (I think it’s likely they evolved from different sources and sort of coalesced).

‘Bill Brown’ threw a bit of a wobbly after an inevitable outcome here yesterday after blatantly ignoring clear warnings about what should not be said about the Clarke Gayford issue  – in particular promoting unsubstantiated (fake) allegations.

First, misuse of Gayford’s name as ‘Gaylord’, and indications of intent to attack him, were evident as far back as a 22 September post at Whale Oil, and on 24 October in comments on a personal attack post at Whale Oil comments suggest intent to target Gayford on ‘social media’ and on WO (two separate media):

Whale Oil has run a number of personal attack posts targeting both Gayford and Ardern since then, as recently as yesterday, but this is just some background to the wider attacks on Gayford in particular. Whale Oil have denied being involved in any way in circulating rumours that the legal letter relate to (some comments on WO have disputed this), but regardless of that they have been running a series of personal attacks on Gayford over a number of months (ample evidence of this remains public).

To ‘Bill Brown’, who has a record of interest in this issue dating back to two comments here on Your NZ on 26 November last year:

I wonder how Clarke Gaylorde is liking the DPS watching his every move ……


Lol. I was wondering about his [redacted]

That inferred allegations that I presume this week’s legal letter warned against disclosing.

Sunday 29 April 2018 (before this week’s story broke):

If the rumours are true the court appearance is already done. The DCJ is mulling the sentence options.

Unless the Police have lied in their statement this must be false. As far as I have seen this line of attack has largely been dropped since the Police statement. Also on Sunday:

Diplomatic passports a great thing when one is [redacted]

Another very specific reference, also with no evidence, and also false if the Police statement is accurate.

Thursday 3 May:

You are correct PG that it started around Oct last year – around the time [redacted]

Another specific reference.

Friday 4 May:

The Gayford story is one of the best examples of the Stresiend Effect ….. ever.

The  ‘Streisand Effect’ has also been promoted on Kiwiblog and Whale Oil (and probably elsewhere), but this has been somewhat thwarted by the media abiding by the legal letter and not publishing details of allegations. Trying to force a ‘Streisand Effect’ – provoking someone to deny (sometimes false or ridiculous) allegations to create negative publicity – is sometimes used as a dirty political tactic.

Saturday 5 May:

Clarke is [redacted]

With the charges rumours dealt to by the police statement this was a switch to another quite specific common allegation that I have seen around for a while, again with no evidence. Even if there was some basis it should be a personal matter and no business of the public – it is a form of dirty attack which appears to me to be an attempt to destabilise the Prime Minister and the Government (however I know of people who get some sort of perverse pleasure from just ‘fucking people over’).

When ‘Bill Brown’ got the inevitable and obvious outcome for blatantly ignoring warnings and requests they responded:

Like I care you dick

Some may care about what he has tried to promulgate, alongside commenters at Kiwiblog (some tried again yesterday but DPF has been moderating now), alongside the Twitter campaign and alongside the targeting of Gayford on Whale Oil, and elsewhere. One unhinged website with extreme allegations on this and other issues has been linked to from various blogs (no name or links allowed here).

There is no public evidence that this is anything other than different people independently doing something similar – targeting and attacking Gayford and Ardern in a variety of ways.

Despite some alleging National Party involvement and others  alleging that it’s an internal Labour Party hit job I have seen no evidence of either.

In the absence of evidence any allegations or rumours should at least be regarded with much skepticism, if not discounted as made up fake allegations.

However I think that an unprecedented degree of targeting of the partner of the Prime Minister has been taking place, and this is an insidious turn for the worse in New Zealand politics. There are associated issues of importance, but I think the scale and type of attacks that have taken place and continue to take place need to be confronted and strongly condemned – with some legal caution.

Allowing discussion on this is important.

However any comments that I feel are too specific, name people with allegations with no evidence, are a potential legal risk, or I otherwise think are inappropriate, may be edited or deleted. Note that sometimes comments here can be parked out of sight until I have time to properly deal with them, and I am not always readily available.