Earlier this week, a coworker sent me a link to what I presume must have been a fun or interesting tweet. I will never know for sure, however, because the only thing that link taught me was that nothing is sacred. Not even curated feeds of up-to-the-minute entertainment and celebrity news.
Friends, this is what I saw when I clicked the link:
A slap in the face from the entertainment arm of the world’s biggest news organization. But why would they do this to me, a loyal content consumer?
After some digging, I found this:
Or perhaps—let’s not be hasty—it was just an automatic response?
I wondered if, perhaps, my single interaction with @APEntertainment triggered some sort of bot, or maybe even an institutional rule to block those who appear to demand it even when they are actually just making a little joke. To test this theory, I tweeted “stop” at every AP-affiliated account I could find.
It’s been almost 24 hours, and not a single one has blocked me. I even asked two coworkers to tweet “stop” at @APEntertainment specifically. Almost a day later, they are both still free to peruse the various goings-on of the always exciting entertainment industry.
With this one, brutal action, the Associated Press has hurt me in two distinct ways. The first is that I have no idea what I may have missed in the world of celebrity since I’ve been blocked. How long have I been barred from receiving a constant stream of industry updates? Do the celebs even still exist? What’s changed in Hollywood? I have no conceivable way of knowing, and it’s the unknown that can drive you mad.
The second, of course, is that I did not deserve this fate. The free flow of information is integral to our identity as American citizens, and I will not be kept from my rightful access to all the hottest celeb news of the day.
Update 8/6 1:27 a.m.:
I have been freed from the shackles of content censorship.
There is some justice in this world yet.