His Holiness the Dalai Lama has been booted from Twitter after the social networking service said an account set up in his name was by an impersonator.

The account, @OHHDL -- for The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama -- launched over the weekend and gained more than 20,000 followers (including me, around 8,000 or so).

"Welcome to the official Twitter page of His Holiness the Dalai Lama -- administered by The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama," the first message read, followed several hours later by "Our office is currently overwhelmed by responses from our first day on Twitter. We will make every effort to answer your questions in time."

Unfortunately, it was not to be.

"The account was suspended because it violated our Terms of Use regarding impersonation," Twitter co-founder Biz Stone wrote in an e-mail message. "Using Twitter to impersonate others in a manner that does or is intended to mislead, confuse, or deceive others is also cited in the Twitter Rules."


Aside from the utter coolness of actually having the Dalai Lama on Twitter, it would have been interesting to see whether Twitter could have served as a focal point for support of Tibet, given that China, which claims sovereignty over the country, censors its citizens' use of the Internet. The service has been used by several other protest movements.

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