El Efecto Streisand As Guatemala Arrests Twitterer

from the it's-going-international dept

Apparently, down in Guatemala, there's an ongoing political scandal, involving murder, corruption and a big local bank. The whole thing sounds rather unpleasant. Earlier this week, a Guatemalan Twitter user, named Jean Anleu, suggested via Twitter that people should pull their money out of the bank, rather than support the corruption. This seems like a pretty standard Twitter message. Yet, in Guatemala, it resulted in the arrest of the guy for "intent to incite financial panic." Apparently, all within the same day, the guy was brought before a judge, had a trial, and was sentenced, with a large fine. Until he can pay off the fine, he's to remain in detention.

This sounds oddly familiar, of course. It was just a few months ago that South Korea arrested a blogger under similar charges, though (thankfully) that guy was acquitted. Except, in this case, it seems a bit more serious, especially when there appear to have been murders of those who were trying to fight the bank's corruption, and charges that those murders were done with government support.

But, what's interesting is that the news is spreading wide and fast that the government has arrested this Twitter user, turning international attention on the country and what it's doing with this guy. Boing Boing even points out that Central American news organizations are referring to "el efecto streisand" to describe how much attention this is generating. As the guy who coined the term "the Streisand Effect," in the first place, I have to admit some amount of pride in discovering that the term is being used in foreign headlines in other languages -- though I wish the actual details of this guy's arrest weren't so clearly an attempt to crack down on gov't criticism.
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Filed Under: el efecto streisand, free speech, guatemala, streisand effect
Companies: twitter


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  • identicon
    Tgeigs, 15 May 2009 @ 12:17pm

    The give us El Nino and we give them The Streisand Effect?

    Bad deal...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2009 @ 12:52pm

    to pay the fine he had to pull his money from the bank LOL

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Whisk33, 15 May 2009 @ 12:56pm

    The point?

    Is the point of the story the fact that this guy was arrested for inciting a financial crisis or that it happened so quickly that it might not have been "due process"?
    I would argue that since technology (i.e. twitter) has such a large potential audience the "harmless" statement could have more weight. and that he could have indeed caused(or in this case attempted to cause) a run on the bank. It would be similar to telling the person next to you there was a fire verse shouting it in the movie theater(when there was no fire of course). The latter would be causing a public panic. With the increase in communication possibilities we should be responsible for larger potential audiences as well.

    Though I agree that it seems due process was not a part of this proceeding and the hastiness that this was done is shocking.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 May 2009 @ 1:04pm

      Re: The point?

      "Is the point of the story the fact that this guy was arrested for inciting a financial crisis or that it happened so quickly that it might not have been "due process"?"

      Mike can clarify if needed, but it seems to me the point is that somebody said something innocuous, but because it was on Twitter it first led to an arrest for inciting a riot amongst the cyber-masses and then to the Streisand Effect for the arrest.

      "I would argue that since technology (i.e. twitter) has such a large potential audience the "harmless" statement could have more weight. and that he could have indeed caused(or in this case attempted to cause) a run on the bank"

      Ok, so what quantity is the breaking point where we need to arrest? Is it an amount that could be reached by yelling really, really loud? Or using a megaphone? How about when some assclown like the Mad Money jackass starts spouting off about this stuff? He certainly reaches a lot of people.

      "It would be similar to telling the person next to you there was a fire verse shouting it in the movie theater(when there was no fire of course)."

      I disagree. I think it would be more like telling people in a crowded theatre that the theatre wasn't up to fire code and if there was a fire, everyone would be in a lot of danger, so maybe they should all just leave instead.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    pr, 15 May 2009 @ 2:18pm

    Thanks

    I didn't know Guatemala was so corrupt. Thanks for posting.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Graf, 18 May 2009 @ 12:39am

    "As the guy who coined the term "the Streisand Effect," in the first place"

    Hey Mike, are you going to sue for copyright infringement :D

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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