The Hard Lessons Learned by Those Ignorant of the Streisand Effect

EFF Free Speech
EFF Free Speech

The Streisand Effect is an interesting phenomenon and an invisible force that lives on the Internet. Some people learn very quickly, others are slow to learn. I have been fascinated with the Streisand Effect since I learned about it a few years ago and have learned to have a healthy respect for it. In fact, I have such a healthy respect for it, it has become a very powerful PR and strategic tool to shift the balance of power.

I view the Streisand Effect much like tidal force energy within the ocean. If you don’t respect and recognize the Streisand Effect, you can be capsized and washed away uncontrollably. If you do learn to respect it and learn how to channel the Streisand Effect, it can create unforeseen opportunities and take you on a journey that you could never have predicted and imagined.

In my ongoing saga of the Chan v. Ellis appeal, perhaps the slowest and most dimwitted person in this legal fiasco of the Streisand Effect is Seattle Attorney Timothy B. McCormack. Timmy has essentially hijacked the appellee side of the Chan v. Ellis appeal to such a degree, Linda Ellis is now only a symbolic figure. Linda apparently has refrained from commenting about me. And I don’t have much to say about her either. I don’t need to. Google search results and the appellate briefs of both sides speaks volumes. There is no question I don’t come out smelling like a rose in this case but based on anecdotal evidence, I am not coming out smelling like dog poo either. Linda has been very quiet and so the interwebs have left her alone. However, Timmy continues his wondrous warpath with his zany motions and briefs submitted on the record. Even Linda’s main attorney, Elizabeth W. McBride has been quiet so far.

The bottom line is the interwebs hate copyright trolls and copyright extortionists and those lawyers that partake in those fields. The interwebs also hate those that try to quash Internet free speech, the First Amendment, and Section 230 of the CDA. For me, it matters not whether I win my appeal or not to the extent that I have to write about Linda’s Dash Poem Extortion Scheme on ELI. Honestly, that is small potatoes. When Attorney Elizabeth W. McBride and the judge came up with that overbroad permanent protective order and I initiated the appeal, Linda’s online fate was sealed. By squelching me and ELI, Linda’s team inadvertently triggered the Streisand Effect. The more they fight their position, squelch the ELI 1,900 posts, try to convince people that I am ACTUALLY a “cult leader” vs. me sarcastically calling myself a “cult leader”, the dumber they look. The more they try to stick the “stalker” and “dangerous” title on me, the more Timmy and Linda will look like fools. I don’t think I could try to convince anyone that knows me that I would even engage in anything remote close to stalking.

Timmy keeps trying to bring up in his legal briefs of all these unnamed people who are allegedly afraid of my so-called “retaliation”. Timmy is only making it worse. First, it is not hard to verify my criminal background. I have no criminal record and no history of violence. Second, it is not hard to verify my professional background. It consists of my 20-year career spanning a variety of business and professional interests such as I.T., real estate investing, web broadcasting, independent book publishing, blogging, Internet media, and web presence strategy.

Does anyone seriously think I am going to throw all that away and do something stupid as being violent or take any physical actions against anyone that might land me in jail and the criminal justice system? The answer is an “easy” NO! The only “dangerous retaliation” that will occur is that I write more commentary and true stories, hardly anything that comes close to being a “true threat”. Reporting on the true stories is so abundantly more interesting that I have no need to create fiction. Not to mention all the stories that I kept private over the years that is just dying to come out and find an audience.

All the attacks and efforts to quash me, Oscar, and ELI has only spawned more websites, friends, and allies. It has only strengthened the force of the Streisand Effect.  And if by some unpredictable and unforeseen circumstance that I lose this appeal with the Georgia Supreme Court (I am still a bit cynical of the Georgia court system), my guess that there will likely be more of a public backlash now than when I “lost” the case in the Muscogee County Superior Court last year. That legal “loss” from last year has ultimately translated into some unpredictably nice positive outcomes this year. I have plenty of untold stories to write about, publish, and monetize it.

The entrepreneur in me is going to publish and monetize this legal saga that I have lived through since last year. And I am going to tremendously enjoy writing about it.

Beware and respect the power of the Streisand Effect.


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About Matthew Chan 66 Articles
Matthew is the Publisher and Editor of He is also the Founder, Editor, and Host for Matthew is the author of several business books & audio programs. He is an entrepreneur, real estate investor, and First Amendment advocate.