Daily Telegraph ran with reports from the NRL Media Manager's meetings with NRL and Facebook is social suicide and Penrith Panthers ban players from Facebook, Twitter after Australian Federal Police raise security issues.
Should Athletes be on Facebook?
YES, why shouldn't they be able to stay in touch with family & friends like the rest of us? That is the key, family & friends, people they know. Facebook is a personal social network, you should connect with people you know IRL, In Real Life.
Should Athletes connected with fans on Facebook?
NO, not using their personal account as they lose their privacy and the privacy of the people they are connected with.
YES, they can connect using the correct platform in Facebook's case the Fan Page. The Fan Page allows fans to get updates from an athlete but provides the athlete with the separation from the fans.
Examples of athlete Fan Pages include – AFL's Harry O'Brien & NBA's Shaquille O'Neal or for a company like Sports Geek.
How can clubs & leagues help?
- They can ensure players understand the privacy settings in Facebook to remain invisible to the general public.
- Choose Your Privacy Settings –> Basic Directory Information –> Search Friends Only
- Limit Friend Requests –> Friends of Friends Only
- Hide Friend List –> Friends Only
- They can assure fans that NO athletes are on Facebook accepting friend requests from fans.
- They can point fans to official fan pages & sites of athletes. Like the Phoenix Suns do with Twitter accounts.
- They can report fake profiles to authorities. Contact Sports Geek for more info on how to eliminate fake accounts in your sport.
Want to know more about how athletes can effectively use social media platforms? Then please check out our Social Media Athlete Training program.
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