One of Twitter’s very clear rules says: You may not impersonate others through the Twitter service in a manner that does or is intended to mislead, confuse, or deceive others.
Personally I do not and cannot conceive why anyone would impersonate the Dalai Lama, for example. What do they hope to achieve? Could it be that these “impersonators” were trying to denigrate the Tibetan spiritual leader by publishing offensive updates in His name? Or were the links published as the “Dalai Lama” updates actually pointing at sites that needed a fast boost of traffic?
This is not transpiring by checking the account discussed: http://twitter.com/ohhdl. The account was created on Saturday and it already attracted over 20000 followers.
Despite both CNET and AFP reporting http://twitter.com/ohhdl as suspended, the account appears to be still active on Twitter as I write this article.
There are now 46 updates – the first of them:
Welcome to the official Twitter page of His Holiness the Dalai Lama – administered by The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. ¬ – 7:01 PM Feb 7th
Updates published in Dalai Lama’s name appear to be natural. I couldn’t identify any occurrence of spam – the OHHDL user appears to be replying to other Twitter users and links to dalailama.com are rare.
Below a screenshot of the alleged Dalai Lama Twitter account. Click to enlarge.
Update: after this blog entry has been published on Twitter, OHHDL updated its status:
Welcome to the UNOFFICIAL Twitter page of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Check back for news and travel itinerary.