Harper feeling the wrath of Streisand Effect as efforts to silence artist make ‘Harperman’ song go viral

Efforts by the Harper government to silence a protest song about ousting Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has caused the song to go viral, according to Youtube viewer statistics.

Between the June 22, 2015, when the video of the song was first released, and August 27, the day before the news broke that Environment Canada had placed the song’s creator federal scientist Tony Turner on administrative leave, the clip had only garnered just over 40,000 views on Youtube.

The view count has shot up to 400,000 at the time of writing this article (August 30), rising at the rate of approximately 120,000 users a day.

‘Harperman’ saga is turning out to be a classic example of the Streisand Effect, a term coined by the online community to describe the phenomenon where attempts to censor an otherwise obscure item on the Internet leads to the item gaining widespread publicity embarrassing the would be censor.

American entertainer Barbra Streisand unwittingly lent her name to the phenomenon by trying to to suppress photographs of her residence in Malibu, California, piquing public curiosity in the process.

“Politicians unaware of Streisand effect give #Harperman the exposure needed to go viral,” University of Alberta professor Carlos F. Lange said.

Not only is the song going viral, Prime Minister Harper has come into ridicule and criticism online over the incident, where Mr. Turner has been receiving an outpouring of support.

“Harper has free speech on the run, even here in the land of the true north strong and free,” Karina Rosenberg commented on the Youtube clip. “This is exactly what George Orwell warned us about — tyranny masquerading as security or political correctness. No one in a democracy should be afraid to stand up and speak (or sing) their mind.”

“Much like North Korea speaking against supreme leader Harper will bring swift punishment,” user John tweeted.

“The Canadian government has formally applied to the Egyptian authorities for the pardon and deportation of Al-Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy, his lawyer Amal Clooney told CBC’s Derek Stoffel on Sunday,” Youtube user The Ponder commented. “The Egyptian Canadian Al-Jazeera journalist took the liberty to broadcast harmful/ damaging materials against the Egyptian government, did not obtain a work permit and supported a terrorist group!! Ironically the Canadian Government demanding a pardon for him while suspending Turner for a “song”! Can someone explain to me what is that mean?”

“Is this guy living in an Orwellian nightmare?” Mike J. tweeted. “Freedom of expression is protected by Charter.”

“Truth to power,” Joseph Conner commented. “Tony’s words list more than thirty ways Stephen Harper has destroyed democracy in our home and native land. Tony’s words and music speaks to the frustrations of the more than 60% of Canadian voters who did NOT vote for the Harper Conservatives in the last election. In October, on Election Day, remember Tony’s words and music in the voting booth!”

35 Responses to Harper feeling the wrath of Streisand Effect as efforts to silence artist make ‘Harperman’ song go viral

  1. TO Guy says:

    Silly Harper. Anyone with an ounce of brain knows that trying censor stuff on the Internet is the best way to make things viral. But then again, intelligence is never a bully’s strong point.

  2. Kevin says:

    Love the video !!! Says everything ! Way to go !

  3. Hans says:

    Let’s keep sharing this video and on Oct. 19, let’s vote ABC!!

  4. Lynn Kampf says:

    I’m afraid I’m guilty of sharing the vid on Facebook and encouraging others to help it go viral. Guess it worked…..

  5. Pat says:

    In the tradition of the great protest song it is doing its job.

  6. Vanessa says:

    I’m afraid to comment…maybe I’ll be suspended.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly what Harpo wants,people to be afraid! Free speech is a right, Wecan’t let a wimp like Harpo destroy our rights. Speak up and speak loud!

      • John McKay says:

        Exactly what Harpo wants,people to be afraid! Free speech is a right, Wecan’t let a wimp like Harpo destroy our rights. Speak up and speak loud! Harper is a deceitful, arrogant lying fascist megalomaniac.

  7. Lpoollady says:

    Really Harper, crush all disention and punish those who think for themselves whilst working for government departments!!! Agree with John McKay, lets all vote on the 19th and start trying to get our democracy back!!!

  8. Scott Alexander says:

    I doubt “the Harper government” is trying to silence the song. More likely the (supposedly) neutral civil service whose code of conduct this minstrel broke. Doubt that Mr Harper gives a fig about the ditty.

  9. Debra says:

    As soon as we elect another government can someone please ensure this man gets his job back!

  10. Amber says:

    Harper doesnt really care about anything.. hes waiting to relax and retire on his unbelievable pension ..he gets the last laugh in the end.

  11. REB says:

    Yes, I am sure that Prime Minister Harper subjects himself to this type of treatment because he doesn’t really care. I admire the man, he has done a lot of good things for Canada. A lot of the things you mention in this song are things that he had no direct connection too. They have occurred during his governing, he didn’t cause them. I’d say he cleaned up some pretty big messes that were caused long before he was in offce. You didn’t sing about that!

  12. The protest song alludes to a long list of Harper foibles.

    These have been well documented elsewhere.

    The thing is, as art, the song gets under the skin of people and some will look further. Harper has been a disaster for Canada. He does not represent the values of most Canadians, and certainly not mine. Whether its his single minded focus on marketing Canadian Tar Sands Oil, or the picayune management of everything in his office except, apparently the Duffy Bribe, which he apparently knew nothing about, he has done just about everything wrong in my opinion. The song captures the essence of this.

  13. R. McKee says:

    You know, when a person expresses a problem or a complaint, they usually have an answer or and alternative to solve the problem. I did not hear a single solution to replace Harper. Pretty weak and groundless I’d say.
    Harper is by far and away the man to lead this country and the respect from G8 and G20 confrims this. Who elser can sit at the Global Table? Mr Trudeau ? LOL he would be laughed out of the conference. Mr. Mulcair, he should spend his time honing his skills at the Provincial level before duelling with the BIG BOYS.

    • Maggie Laidlaw says:

      Yikes: This is obviously the opinion of the 30% (and dropping) wealthy I’m-all-right-Jack types who still support this man. Talk about blinders! G8 and G20 – he is REVILED by most Canadians for his fascist response at the G20, and one of his police minions has just been convicted over that debacle!

  14. Barbara says:

    Harper is a bully – and in my Canada, there’s no place for bullies.

  15. Geoff Peters says:

    I wrote my own Harperman song in support of Mr. Turner. My singing video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlK3V_pcm_c


  16. Orion Miller says:

    Love it! We wrote a song too – check it out here:

    Peace through music,
    The OM Sound

  17. Jeff Boulton says:

    There’s a documentary being made that explores this issue… http://igg.me/at/harpermanmovie/x/638781

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