MMA journalist Ariel Helwani‘s days on the social media platform Twitter might be numbered after the recent slew of organizational changes.
Helwani is one of the most prominent presences in MMA media, specifically on social media. He has a large following across many platforms, including Twitter and Instagram, where he provides analysis and breaks news throughout the sport.
Helwani has more than 1.2 million followers on Twitter alone. But now, the recent sale of Twitter to business magnate and investor Elon Musk has some, including Helwani, concerned or even skeptical about the future of the platform.
Musk intends to open the floodgates when it comes to providing an absolute free speech environment on Twitter. This could provide those with extreme views and intentions a platform to promote their interests.
Online trolls and bullies aren’t anything new, though Helwani feels it might be time to leave Twitter depending on how things play out, especially after Musk appeared to confirm rumors that members will have to pay $8 a month to be verified.
Ariel Helwani Discusses Future On Twitter After Elon Musk Purchase
During a recent segment of The MMA Hour, Helwani discussed his future on the platform.
“I will never pay to be verified,” Helwani said. “I think the reason why you want verification is to weed out the trolls and read out the fakes and all that stuff. So, it’s weird to me. Seems like they’re banking on the fact that people who are verified are so shallow and insecure that they’re going to pay for this little badge… Most of the hate you get on there are from cowards who would never say what they on there to your face. It’s gotten a lot more unpleasant, and I obviously use it, but I try to read the comments way less…only because you start to fall in these traps. Rabbit holes, that you just don’t want to, and I would not be sad.
“Twitter’s been great for me, Twitter’s been a great tool. I’ve met a lot of people, grown my show and brand on there,” Helwani continued. “I don’t want to turn my back on it… but if he did this $8.00 thing and everyone left. I wouldn’t cry for a second, that’s why I say burn the MFer to the ground. Let the thing swallow up and I’ll see you in Myspace and Friendster hell.
“At this point, I think I’ve gotten a lot out of it, and I’m out…God bless you. But I hope Elon goes in there and ruins it for everyone and then I can just be like, ‘This has been fun. I’ll see ya when I see ya.”
Helwani is seen as one of the pioneers of MMA media and has used Twitter for years. He set the standard for breaking news around the sport on social media, leading to many new additions to the field.
Up-and-coming star Paddy Pimblett also had his Twitter account suspended and called for Musk’s purchase. The suspension allegedly stemmed from him making a second account after his previous account got banned.
If Helwani leaves Twitter, this could create a domino effect among MMA media members. Depending on how things play out, fans may have to go elsewhere to get up-to-the-minute MMA scoops.
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