Google sends reporter a GIF instead of a ‘no comment’

Not to be all snooty about online publishing, but your newspaper can’t do this:

This adorable animated GIF is apparently the official answer Google sent to a Daily Dot reporter in response to his seeming scoop on a new YouTube livestreaming plan. Richard Lewis reported that Google-owned YouTube was going to take a new swing at “eSports”—a.k.a. watching other people play videogames—as services like Amazon’s Twitch gain popularity.

In an update to the story today (h/t Business Insider), Lewis wrote that a YouTube spokesperson sent him an animated GIF in response to a request for comment. He assumed it was a joke. “Earlier today, the rep assured us it was not,” Lewis said.

“‘The GIF really was our official response,’” Lewis quotes the rep as saying.

On the one hand, it’s fair to look back on the print-first news organizations of the 20th century and criticize them for not moving fast enough as the efficiency and reach of online publishing became apparent. On the other hand, you can’t really blame anyone twenty years ago for not anticipating that the PR shop of one of the world’s most valuable publicly traded companies would send out cute moving pictures of kids as an official response to anything.

WIRED reached out to Google to confirm that the GIF came from them, but the company has yet to respond. If it does, I hope the reply looks something like this:

Update (March 25, 2015, 8:30 p.m. ET): Just received this tweet from YouTube head of communications Chris Dale:

And here’s the GIF:

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