Vikings to conduct social media surveillance on future players - FOX 35 News Orlando

Vikings to conduct social media surveillance on future players

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The Minnesota Vikings are currently looking for new talent in Indianapolis, but one player in particular is prompting some changes in the way teams evaluate hot prospects.

Like many employers, NFL teams are realizing that social media can give them a fuller picture of a potential employee.

When Manti Te'o admitted he was duped into an online and phone-only relationship with a girlfriend who never existed, he brought the term "catfished" into mainstream pop culture and changed the way NFL teams fish for future players.

The Minnesota Vikings confirmed they are now conducting social media surveillance on athletes they're interested in because of what happened with Te'o.

"I think it's a brilliant idea because, if you look at someone's interview or resume, it's such a small snapshot of who they are and what they stand for," said social media consultant Nadine Babu.

Babu said how players represent themselves on Facebook and Twitter is a good indication of how they may represent a professional sports team in the future, adding that former quarterback and wide receiver Marquis Grey used social media to boost excitement for the Gophers.

On the other hand, A.J. Barker's post about why he quit the team was hardly a touchdown for him or the University.

"Good rule of thumb is: Stay positive," Babu advised. "If it's about your games, teammates, coaches -- keep those negative thoughts private because those things will look poorly on you."

Former Gopher and NFL player Ron Johnson said the best advice he gives to younger players about social media is to stay away from profanity -- and to avoid the same mistake Te'o did.

"Don't fall in love on Twitter," he said. "If you are going to meet a girl on Twitter, meet her actually. Show up to her house. Get her address."

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