Introducing Serlingbot

by

My boyfriend and I were watching an episode of The Twilight Zone this week, in which a newly-minted revolutionary dictator is told by a departing member of the overthrown government that a particular mirror would show him his assassins. Of course, this leads him to kill his closest friends.

Sorry, should have said “spoilers” or something. Although really, you’ve had 56 years to see this episode. If you’re not caught up, that’s on you.

At the end of the episode, my first thought was: Trump would probably have fallen for that line too.

Inspired by that episode and of course by a Scottish newspaper immediately prior to Trump’s inauguration, I had an idea: A Twitter bot that downloads photos tweeted by the White House, turns them greyscale, overlays them with Rod Serling and tweets them again.

On my first Google search, I found a transparent PNG of Rod Serling. The Internet had also prepared a repository of json-formatted Rod Serling monologues. All I had to do was find a PHP library to connect to the Twitter API, and I was good to go!

You can follow @serlingbot on Twitter, and it will regularly send you photos from a few selected Twitter accounts that have been Serling-ed.

But that’s not all!

If you tweet a photo to @serling on Twitter, it will reply to you—with your photo Serling-ed.

And if you don’t have Twitter, I have made a non-Twitter web version of Serlingbot, where you can enter a link to an image on the web, and it will Serling your photo for your own private use.

I like to think that Rod Serling himself would have appreciated the idea of being resurrected as a post-apocalyptic robot, doomed to condemn a totalitarian government from beyond the grave. It’s something that might have happened … in the Twilight Zone.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2017-4862,
    title = {Introducing Serlingbot},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2017-04-21,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2017/04/21/introducing-serlingbot/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Introducing Serlingbot" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 21 Apr 2017. Web. 16 Dec 2018. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2017/04/21/introducing-serlingbot/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2017, Apr 21). Introducing Serlingbot [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2017/04/21/introducing-serlingbot/

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