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British prime minister's office Twittering?

Someone is Twittering using the ID "DowningStreet," saying the account is the official Twitter channel for the prime minister.

It seems that someone may be Twittering from the U.K. prime minister's office. If not, it's a pretty well-conceived hoax. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Can heads of state Twitter?

Well, I wouldn't go so far as to expect anyone in as lofty a position as U.K. PM Gordon Brown to spend their time actually posting to Twitter themselves. But it appears that someone out there in Twitter-land has started an account that purports to be the "official Twitter channel for the Prime Minister's Office based at 10 Downing Street."

Looking briefly at the official Web site for the prime minister's office, I don't see any mention of Twitter, but whoever is posting from that account is doing pretty much nothing except what appears to be the kind of official news that would come from the press office of a place like 10 Downing Street.

And according to the official blog of global PR company Edelman, this is most likely a Twitter account coming from Downing Street.

It also would seem to be in character for the PM's press office, which already offers podcasts, e-mail updates, Web chats, and other multimedia elements. Perhaps the lack of mention of Twitter is simply because they don't want to get flooded yet. As of now, the account has only posted eight Tweets.

An example: "No10 news: Sarkozy arrives at Number 10: The Prime Minister has welcomed French President.."

If this is true, then, I would say it's definitely interesting, very forward-thinking, and a big step for Twitter and other social-media platforms.

If it's not true, then the joke's on Edelman, on me and on anyone else who fell for this.