Who’d have thunk it? Russia’s top netizen—the brightest star in a shiny galaxy of Internet-charged oppositionists—has blocked me on Twitter. Navalny, who has collected over 339 thousand followers, blocked me sometime late last week, probably on March 19, after I published a short Global Voices update about his controversial attendance at an Aeroflot banquet hosted at the Kremlin. I also tweeted, in jest, a crude photoshop of Navalny performing the gangnam style dance as Putin plays the piano.
I have no idea if Navalny makes these decisions himself. Perhaps his spokesperson, Anna Veduta, chooses whom to block. (Though I am still able to follow her tweets.) In any event, I’m more than a little surprised to find that Russia’s greatest champion for transparency has disabled my Twitter account’s access to his.
Has anyone else out there been blocked by Navalny?
Note to readers: this post sparked an entertaining conversation on Maria Baronova’s Facebook page, where she shared the “Twitter block” story. Oleg Kozlovsky, a rather unpleasant man to put it mildly, seems to think I’ve reacted pettily by publicizing Navalny’s behavior. Stanislav Yakovlev (aka Ortega) also shared this post, though he mistakenly writes that I somehow represent the American Enterprise Institute. (I did work there between 2009 and 2011 as a humble research assistant to Dr. Leon Aron, but I never represented the organization.)