put the genie back in the bottle

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put the genie back in the bottle

To attempt to revert a situation to how it formerly existed by containing, limiting, or repressing information, ideas, advancements, etc., that have become commonplace or public knowledge. Almost always used in the negative to denote the impossibility of such an attempt. Many people lament the ubiquity and pervasive nature of social media, but no one will be able to put that particular genie back in the bottle.
See also: back, bottle, genie, put
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
I see no way to put the anti-Jewish genie back in the bottle in the US.
American science fiction movies of the 1950s and 1960s generally proclaim that it is possible to put the nuclear genie back in the bottle. Japanese films of the same period assert that once freed the nuclear genie can never again be imprisoned.
It was almost impossible to put the genie back in the bottle.
Walmart's battle to put the genie back in the bottle is also largely attributable to the competitive skills of our core food retailer audience, which has admirably risen to the occasion to combat the $4 billion-pound gorilla, whose cage has been clearly rattled.
Now the fixture list has been extended by such a great amount it can't get the genie back in the bottle, with bookmakers blowing hot because the BHA wants to cut the 2013 list by about 40 meetings.
But the struggle to put the genie back in the bottle won't be won - just ask the music industry.
Mike Craik has a reasonable chance of turning the tide in terms of public disorder in our cities but Tony Blair has next to no chance of putting the "compensation culture" genie back in the bottle.
In an effort to put the genie back in the bottle, the Clinton administration entered into intense negotiations with India as part of a reengagement with a country that had been largely estranged from the United States during the Cold War, because of its close ties to the Soviet Union.
The worse things look in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in the Bush Administration's hapless "war on terror," the more the question arises: What can be done to put the genie back in the bottle? Would a Kerry Administration rein in military adventurism and restore some sense of security to a country seemingly determined to provoke more and more resentment around the globe, making us more of a target for further terrorist attacks?
It is hard to put that genie back in the bottle but it is possible - with stirring and entertaining football at the Riverside.
So if we can't put the genie back in the bottle, is there a different model of authority coming along to replace the old?
This sensible view was rejected in favor of the neo-Luddite theory that a global police regime would be able to put the bio-weapons genie back in the bottle. "We have no need to rely on lethal germ weapons and would lose nothing by giving up the option," Harvard University Professor and U.S.
The farther these weapons spread, the harder it is to get the genie back in the bottle."
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