994 – Streisand effect
Often times, there are attempts–by any one, normal human beings like you and me—to steathily undo or underemphasize some bad things. Such attempts most likely turn out in vein. (There is a rather big Chinese phrase called “欲盖弥彰”, which literally means that when one wants to cover something, that thing will get very much publicized.)
I don’t have a clear economic model to explain this. (The triky part is how to model people’s attention, I think.) But the idea is quite simple: The attempt to hide things would appear rather abnormal, and such anormaly will catch people’s attention, hence exposing the attempt to hide.
There is apparently a very colloquial term, “Streisand effect”, to describe such unsuccessful attempts to cover something:
The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet. — Wikipedia
Okay. I think that’s enough for the motivation. My assertion is simple: The sudden blockage of Instagram in mainland China should trigger a big “Why”.
People will know.
And there is another apt Chinese saying, “若要人不知，除非己莫为”.