KAPOLEI, Hawaii -- The NFL is relaxing its social-media policy and allowing players to use Twitter before and during the Pro Bowl.
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The league said Wednesday it will set up a computer on each sideline, where players are encouraged to use Twitter to communicate with fans, teammates and even opponents during commercial breaks and when their offensive or defensive unit isn't on the field.
Tweeting is voluntary, and only one player per team can tweet at a time. Players will tweet with the hashtag #ProBowl.
Mobile devices will not be allowed during the game. Howewer, players can tweet from their phones before the game and at halftime. Facebook and other popular social media platforms aren't included.
"This is an innovative way to further engage our fans who have an insatiable appetite for football," league spokesman Brian McCarthy said. "NFL players have been very active on social media and enjoying talking to fans. The nature of the Pro Bowl enables us to have players tweet during the game."
The existing policy bans players from tweeting 90 minutes before regular-season games all the way until they fulfill their postgame media obligations.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press