The term "Streisand effect" was coined in 2003 when the entertainment icon Barbra Streisand sued a photographer for taking an aerial photo of her home. The photo was one of 12,000 in the collection, and hardly anyone would have seen it had the publicity from the $50 million lawsuit not magnified it.
Hence, the Streisand effect describes when the attempt to hide something only ends up publicizing it more.
In an effort to stop a damning new ad from continuing to air, President Donald Trump's reelection campaign may have created a Streisand effect of its own.
Exponential Threat—the ad from Democratic super PAC Priorities USA—highlights Trump's dismissals of the current public health crisis that's since upended daily life in the United States.
The ad plays Trump's repeated hollow assurances that the virus would eventually disappear and that cases in the United States would be down to zero in just a few days. All the while, a graph shows the number of confirmed cases in the United States continue to climb.
The President has frequently indicated that he's more concerned about the pandemic's effect on his election, rather than its toll on human lives.
Nevertheless, the Trump campaign threatened litigation in a cease and desist order issued against Priorities USA, writing:
"We will not stand idly by and allow you to broadcast false, deceptive, and misleading information concerning President's Trump's healthcare positions without consequence."
But with thousands of retweets, the attempt to suppress the ad only backfired.
People made sure the message was spread far and wide.
Does Trump not realize the ad uses his own words?
The ad concludes with Trump's response to a reporter who asked if he took responsibility for his administration's bungled rollout of testing kits for the virus:
"I don't take responsibility at all."
If you'd like to see Trump's presidency cease and desist in January 2021, make sure you're registered to vote in November.
For a deeper look into Trump's incompetence from people who were there, check out A Very Stable Genius, available here.