Teens: they're just like us! They like to talk to their friends on the internet chats, have rock-solid political convictions, and get in Twitter spats with the President of the United States.
CJ Pearson, the 13-year-old "burgeoning Facebook pundit" who garnered attention last week for criticizing President Obama's decision to invite Ahmed Mohamed to the White House, claims he was blocked on Twitter by the @POTUS account, Obama's personal Twitter platform.
The White House, meanwhile, denies that President Obama blocks anyone on Twitter. Pearson claims they're lying about Obama not blocking him on Twitter. Also, there's some evidence that the original screenshot of Obama blocking Pearson may have been Photoshopped. It's politics in the 21st century, baby!!
Here's the story: Yesterday afternoon, Pearson posted this tweet, showing an image of @POTUS having blocked him:
A mix of shared anger and jokey congratulations poured in from Pearson's fans, including such luminaries as @ProudTXPatriot, a lot of people whose avatars are the American flag, and deeply unqualified former FEMA administrator Michael Brown.
But there was also speculation that Pearson had faked the block.
A couple hours after Pearson posted the image, Assistant White House Press Secretary Frank Benenati responded (indirectly) on Twitter:
Then it was on. Pearson accused the White House of saying he was lying on Twitter…
…and posted a video response on Facebook:
"I stand by the screenshot" is a great line that I plan to use in the future.
There were also some great Twitter-related jokes about Obama from Pearson's supporters.
Meanwhile, Twitter user @ChimpNo65 continued to investigate.
Meanwhile, Pearson stood by his original claim, firing off some stunning zingers that really put Obozo in his place:
Unfortunately, this remains a case of he said, he said, since the White House's story is plausible, as is Pearson's, even if it's unlikely. For now we can just consider this another ~great political mystery~ of our time.
Regardless, I think we all look forward to Pearson's next two years of speaking engagements as the kid Obama blocked on Twitter.
Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at firstname.lastname@example.org