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Bollywood: cat fights meet social networking

Not known for their restraint, India's movie stars let it all hang out on Twitter.

Twitter brings a warts-and-all portrait of Bollywood celebrities to the masses whether it is perfectionist Aamir Khan’s surprisingly bad spelling (he's famous for adding an extra "h" to stars' names) or Shahrukh Khan’s narcissism.

“It is an honest representation of what stars are thinking and feeling,” said actor Vivek Oberoi who recently used Twitter to promote his upcoming film "Raktacharitra." “There is no more, ‘I was misquoted’ after Twitter,” he said.

Though Oberoi says Twitter isn't all about fluff and spin. He uses the site to galvanize admirers around social causes, like a home for the destitute and a girls’ school. “I’m trying to use the power of Twitter to bring in funding and volunteers,” said Oberoi.

Fans like Manika Cherian, a college student in Bangalore, say they love Twitter precisely because the stars let it all hang out. “I thrive on Bollywood gossip and love to follow my favorites such as Deepika Padukone on Twitter,” she said.

But other Twitter enthusiasts are none the wiser that some of the stars they follow, notably Madhuri Dixit or Priyanka Chopra, are fakes. Actor Priety Zinta has had to contend with several sham accounts, each one with thousands of followers.

An exasperated Zinta recently tweeted, “whoever u are pls stop impersonating me! What u r doing is illegal & I expect u to shut this account and quit using my name.”

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/india/100810/bollywood-stars-twitter-culture