Friday 17 November 2023

the streisand effect (11. 124)

US teens and young adults are not stanning (the term itself taken rather ironically from an Eminem rap song as a portmanteau of stalker and fan about a fictional encounter with an obsessed, ardent admirer whose pleas to get the artist’s attention turn desperate and deadly and this complex and unsavoury form of adulation has been simplified into shorthand for something short of support and mild interest) terrorist and al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden. Rather this supposed trend of discovery on the escapingly recent past through bin Laden’s Letter to America is a moral panic triangulated with an unrelenting attack on the TikTok platform for its virality and tenuous connections to the Chinese government and the war in Palestine and generational division, and raises serious questions about how we can (selectively) gauge shares and views and how exposure (propelled in part through censorship and timorous outrage) is different from indoctrination.