“Catfish’ or ‘Catfished’ are terms used to describe people who become emotionally attached to fake social media profiles. Oftentimes the person who runs the social media account is not who they claim to be.
People who get emotionally attached to fake online profile’s — or to online profiles in general — usually have some form of emotional or personality defect that allows them to become victims so easily.
Luckily, that was not the case with four unnamed NFL players who were almost ‘Catfished’ by @RedRidnH00d, a woman (or man) on Twitter.com, who used pictures of an Internet adult entertainer, C.J. Miles, to seduce the athletes into establishing a rapport with her.
Rather than “fall in love” with a cute girl on Twitter, the healthy NFL players fell back once they realized @RedRidnH00d refused their numerous requests to meet them in person.
According to a report on NFL.com, Phillip Daniels, the Washington Redskins’ director of player development, warned the entire team to beware of @RedRidnH00d on “any social media platform,” because “she is not who she claims to be.”
“Once we found out the person wasn’t real, we went from there,” Daniels told NFL.com.
NFL.com learned that NFL security conducted an investigation into a situation involving a woman who used the pseudonym Sidney Ackerman on Twitter.
Daniels told NFL.com that “Sidney Ackerman” updated the @RedRidnH00d Twitter profile with doctored photos of C.J. Miles in order to fool the players into thinking she was Miles.
Daniels said “Ackerman” communicated with the players mainly via the social platform’s direct messaging (DM) function. She also sent the players nude pictures of C.J. Miles on their cell phones, as well as a pornographic video of Miles sent to at least one player.
“If you think about it, a lot of them are single guys, and they see somebody who looks good in a picture or something,” Daniels said. “In many cases, it involves someone who is a fan of the team, so they’ll start talking about the team. You have to recognize that something just isn’t right.”
Sidney Ackerman deleted her Twitter and Facebook pages once she learned of the NFL.com report.
“I think it was all about attention,” Daniels said. “I don’t think it was any of the other stuff. It was just about being able to talk to them, pretending to be someone they aren’t. It was never a situation where guys were giving money or anything like that.”
Daniels said the players were lulled into a false sense of security by the fact that “Ackerman” had 17,000 followers on Twitter.
Last Friday, NFL.com discovered some football players were communicating with another Twitter account, @RideAndDieChick, which also used a photo of Miles as its Twitter avatar.
NFL.com established contact with @RideAndDieChick to create a dialogue through the direct message function on Saturday.
In Saturday’s conversation, the @RideAndDieChick claimed to be a “new sports fan,” although her timeline was littered with requests for athletes to follow her, an indication that she (or he) was familiar with sports and individual athletes.
“People think I want popularity, but I just wanna make star friends that I wouldn’t be able to meet in the real world,” @RideAndDieChick wrote in a DM to NFL.com.
When NFL.com informed @RideAndDieChick that she was the subject of an upcoming report on fake online profiles, she too disabled her Twitter account.
Unlike Notre Dame’s troubled former linebacker Manti Te’o, the Redskins players were healthy enough to see the warning signs before it was too late.
Still, Daniels says, “It can be a sad business, man. It’s sad you have to go through stuff like this.”
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