Author Topic: Dalai Lama has almost 5 million fans on Twitter and over 4 million on Facebook  (Read 7760 times)


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The Dalai Lama has almost 5 million fans on Twitter and over 4 million on Facebook.  This is not as many as President Obama has, but he out does Depak Chopra, who has around one million fans.
Dalai Lama means the Ocean of Wisdom, but his fans call him “His Holiness” or HH for short.
However, His Holiness does not care too much for technology and does not own a cell phone, computer, or even an iPad.  His people do all the tweets, Facebook posts, website, and emails for him.
The social-media accounts of the Dalai Lama, also known as His Holiness (or HH for short) to his followers, are managed by a team in his office, headed by official photographer Tenzin Choejor, a tech-savvy 33-year-old. “I’m very much a Netizen,” Choejor said. “I’m always looking at people’s Facebook pages. Even though His Holiness has had a website since 2005, in this busy 21st century people don’t have time to go to your site all the time. We felt it was very important to deliver the content and messages of His Holiness to people via social networks.”

Allegedly, imposters have also opened a Twitter and Facebook account using His Holiness’ name, trying to make it look him.  A fake Twitter account was shutdown within a week after The Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama contacted Twitter.

“That fake Twitter account also made us realize we needed to do it,” Choejor told The Daily Beast from Dharamsala via Skype. “Otherwise someone else would do it, and their tweets might be taken as genuine words of the Dalai Lama, even if it’s all just in the virtual world.”
The first tweets, on the official account, were pictures and links to articles, but not words of wisdoms are tweeted on HH’s account.

“People in every part of the world are fed up with violence,” or links to webcasts. In little more than two years, his Twitter following has proliferated to nearly 5 million—or, more precisely, 4,814,521 as of Aug. 3, said Choejor.

And yet, who’s counting? “We don’t make comparisons with others,” maintained Choejor. “We just do our job, just pour out the tweets and photos and quotations in a way that suits His Holiness.”
On his Facebook page, HH lets more of himself through and even thanked his fans for well wishes and birthday wishes.  Even his travels and other documents are posted on Facebook.  On his YouTube account are his various speeches.

However, the 77-year-old Nobel laureate does not do all of this himself and says his hands are not equipped to work a computer or other forms of technology.  He even admitted, during a CNN interview with Pier Morgan, that he asks someone to type andsend emails for him.  His team of technological specialists do all the computer stuff for him, under the supervision higher ups and the HH.  He does not post any of his tweets or Facebook posts himself.

One team member says, “His Holiness just lets us do our thing.” That normally involves choosing appropriate quotations from the Dalai Lama’s books and recent speeches (“We work hard to make sure its his voice,” said the team member) and putting up live webcasts whenever he gives Buddhist teachings. The goal is not to gain followers but to promote religious harmony and human values—and to post content from the Dalai Lama’s daytime activities swiftly, so that when people wake up in the morning, they see something new.

“His Holiness isn’t too involved,” said Choejor, who’s worked in the Dalai Lama’s office since July 2005, after attending Madras Christian College and obtaining a B. A. in political science and a master’s in communications. “He doesn’t have an iPad or Kindle; he doesn’t use computers. He doesn’t carry communications devices. His office handles all that. We just report up and occasionally inform him, ‘You have this many fans.’”

After the riots in Lhasa and other Tibetan communities shortly before the Beijing Olympics occurred, the Dalai Lama stated that the Chinese government had increasing difficulties grassroots resentment due to technology. Today, he focuses on social media to show other ways of communicating.
“Now authorities are trying to control [things] by shutting down these services. But it’s very difficult to control everything.” He said mobile phones’ ability to disseminate news virtually in real time was probably “a factor” in the speed and scope with which the unrest spread.

Social media “has accelerated the beginning of dialogue between ordinary Tibetans and Chinese,” said Kate Saunders, a London-based researcher for the International Campaign for Tibet. “It's a very important initiative for the Dalai Lama.”

However, it is not certain that communicating Buddhist wisdom over Twitter is a good thing and people debate the usefulness of it.

“Twitter is an empty box for sharing information. If you follow the Dalai’s tweets, you get small, easily digestible doses, and you may think you don’t need to read his books. But with a hundred other things fighting for your attention, how much contemplative thought can you absorb?” said Soren Gordhamer, who calls himself “Buddhist friendly.”

Concerning the HH’s global celebrity status, he says, “I’m just a simple Buddhist monk.” The Dalai Lama is simple monk who, with the help of other people, keeps up with new technology and new ways to communicate with others.


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I for one think that what Dalai Lama is doing in the online sphere is the correct way to go. What better way to bring your message to the masses than to the 7 billion+ people on the Internet, 800 million of which are on Facebook and 175 million of which are on Twitter?

There is no other place or channel where a single piece of information has the potential to reach billions of individuals. So for anyone who wants to communicate a message to others, go online. The Dalai lama and his people are on the right track.

In fact, I am pretty amazed at how well he is doing. The Karmapa is only at 132,000 likes on Facebook and 6,375 followers on Twitter. That sure is a far cry behind the Dalai lama, whose political status and world fame gives him the edge over every other Tibetan Lama out there. In fact, it gives him the edge over pretty much every religious world figure, except perhaps the Pope.

So what does that say to you? To me, it says that the Dalai Lama has a ready platform in which to make his message heard. He KNOWS that people will hear what he has to say. He KNOWS that his every move will be scrutinized by world media and the general public. He KNOWS he has to be careful with whatever he says and does.

So why does Dalai lama create a silly ban on Dorje Shugden, knowing he would be crucified by world media, once the intricacies of the truth were known? You think.

Gabby Potter

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Thank you Icy for sharing the statistics :) I see this as a good news because then there are more people who know about Buddha Dharma, some of them might not be a Buddhist practitioner, but Dharma seeds have definitely being planted into their mindstream, this is something to be happy about. May the ban on Dorje Shugden be lifted very swiftly so that there are more people who will be benefited by His sacred practise.


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Thank you Icy,
I am amazed about how many followers H.H. has and he doesn't use any new technology himself.
People are in need for spirituality to find sense and help in their life.

May the ban be lifted quickly so that Dorje Shugden can spread far and wide and assist H.H. the Dalai Lama.