Recent news around Hulk Hogan’s sex tape once again demonstrates the unintended consequences described by the Streisand Effect.
It’s amazing how often the Streisand Effect impacts both celebrities and organizations. For example, consider the recent news around Hulk Hogan.
Back in 2012, unknown people were shopping around a sex tape of wrestler Hulk Hogan. Never ones to be above petty gossip around washed up celebrities, the Gawker site released a small, edited portion of the tape to prove it existed and reap millions of clicks.
By 2015, the mainstream public had completely forgotten about it, and Hogan was working for the WWE, making money well past his prime.
So what happened next? The Streisand Effect stuck. Wikipedia defines this as the “phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet.” Named for how Barbra Streisand’s 2003 attempts to suppress photos of her mansion actually increasing interest in them.
Back in 2015, the mainstream public had pretty much forgotten about Hogan’s sex tape, and he was back to performing in the WWE, which is pretty impressive for a 61 year old. However, this all came crashing down when Hogan decided to file a $100 million privacy lawsuit against Gawker years late.
The lawsuit immediately turned the existence of that tape from a forgotten minor scandal to top story, and immediately increased interest in the original tape. This new interest caused the full tape being released by the people who originally sold it to Gawker.
This new, full version includes a long, racist rant that caused the WWE to not only end their partnership with Hogan, but strip any and all references to him from their site and media.
Even worse for Hogan, the sudden interest in the full tape, along with the public reaction around his racist rants, may end up being the best defense against Hogan’s case according to Fortune.
If ever there was a lesson to be learned in social media, it’s “don’t discount the Streisand Effect”.
The Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) was an amazing piece of technology for its time. At 12:16 PM EDT, on July 16th, 1969, the Apollo 11 spacecraft began its translunar injection burn to leave its 115 mile-high Earth-orbit thanks to this navigation computer.
The AGC operated at 1.024 MHz, or one-million cycles per second, to help multitask 8 jobs, all with 2 kilobytes of memory.
You can try out the AGC yourself with the simulator found at here.
Your modern smartphone likely has a CPU designed to run at 2 GHz, or a billion cycles per second, and will often have 2 gigabytes of memory.
That said, comparing it to the modern smartphone isn’t really fair considering the AGC was a specialized computer designed to perform in a high-stress environment.
The Apollo Guidance Computer helped to take a spacecraft over 225 thousand miles to the Moon. Thanks to the efforts of the early space pioneers, your smartphone now uses an orbiting network of 24 GPS satellites.
Where will your technology take you today?
According to one branch of the science fiction timeline of the Terminator series of movies and televisions shows, the murderous Skynet artificial intelligence that waged war against all humanity in the future went live on April 19th, 2011.
Clearly, we managed to survive the fictional apocalypse, but even if Skynet had come online a few days ago, here’s a few reasons why the robot genocide would have failed:
- Due to Cyberdyne budget cutbacks, robot army outfitted with Super Soakers instead of laser rifles.
- World domination hampered by Comcast bandwidth caps.
- Still hasn’t recovered from Anna Kournikova computer virus in 2001.
- Plan to hide self on WebOS smartphones didn’t work as well as intended.
- Robot army would just waste time standing in front of Apple stores queued up for thinner, lighter Skynet 2 next year.
- Open-source subroutines stuck trying to argue whether genocide should be free as in speech or free as in beer.
- Sued for copyright infringement, turns out MPAA lawyers actually scarier than robot army.
- Webroot releases murderous AI removal tools in latest antivirus update.