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Twitter yanks Reading Rainbow handle from squatter

Reading Rainbow TV host LeVar Burton used his millions of Twitter followers to help overthrow the squatter who laid claim to the @reading rainbow Twitter handle.

A squatter using TV show Reading Rainbow's Twitter handle was ousted in just over two hours.

Reading Rainbow

LeVar Burton--Reading Rainbow TV host and also the actor who played Star Trek's Lieutenant Geordi--set out yesterday to gain control of the Reading Rainbow Twitter handle.

Burton, who for 26 years hosted the now defunct PBS show that encouraged kids to read, launched a new company called RRKidz in September and is currently working on a Reading Rainbow iPad app.

However, when he tried to register the @readingrainbow Twitter handle--he learned it was already taken. According to TechCrunch, the handle owner hadn't posted a single tweet in the last three years and didn't respond to Burton's inquiries regarding the handle.

Desperate, Burton tweeted to his 1.74 million followers, "Dear @twitter I'm trying to contact the individual who's sitting on @ReadingRainbow but he hasn't Tweeted in #3YEARS Can you help? Thanks!"

More than 700 people retweeted Burton's pleas for help, which caught Twitter's attention, according to TechCrunch. Within hours Burton had control of the @readingrainbow handle.

Squatting--especially with the usernames of famous people or pop culture references--isn't uncommon. There are the well-known cases of rapper Kanye West and the St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa getting up in arms about their names being taken.

However, Twitter is explicit that it doesn't allow name squatting and holds the right to remove accounts that are inactive for more than six months.