‘The MMA Hour’ host Ariel Helwani may be leaving Twitter following changes by the platform’s new owner Elon Musk.
With 1.2 million followers on Twitter, Helwani is MMA’s most renowned journalist. Providing breaking news, interviews, and analysis on various platforms including Instagram and YouTube, Helwani is one of the most trusted and respected sources for combat sports news. However, some significant changes coming to Twitter may push Helwani into walking away from the social media app for good.
Elon Musk, a business magnate who is the founder and CEO of both SpaceX and Tesla Inc. recently closed a deal to purchase Twitter for $44 billion. Following his takeover, Musk immediately began discussing changes he would make to the platform, including charging verified users a monthly fee to retain their verified status.
Helwani spoke out about the possibility of having to pay a fee for the highly-sought after little blue checkmark, letting it be known that he would simply walk away before making one of the richest men in the world even more powerful.
“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.” (h/t MMANews)
Ariel Helwani Comments on the General Unpleasantness of Twitter in Recent Years
Ariel Helwani also referenced the general unpleasantness that one can see scrolling through the platform these days. Unlike social media apps such as Facebook which have fairly strict standards on what can be said and/or posted, Twitter is more of a free-for-all allowing for cyber-bullying, the sharing of misinformation, and hate speech. Elon Musk fully intends to allow that trend to continue, even preparing to welcome back controversial former president Donald Trump to the platform after being banned in 2021.
“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.”