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!”