Former K-1 Heavyweight champion Badr Hari has been driven to distraction in the last two years by having to constantly explain to people that no, he doesn’t have any social media accounts and no, the latest inflammatory comment currently being shared and retweeted was not actually written by him.
Hari describes himself as “a gym guy” who would “never be sitting behind a desk on some computer” or “interested in these social network things” but regardless, he soon began to feel the impact of the imposter on his personal life.
“I had a lot of people asking me questions about things which were posted and I had to explain myself every time that it wasn’t me behind those social media networks,” he tells Eldar Gross and Fabrice Deters in the video posted above.
“And they were verified! That was the big problem, they were verified. I had a lot of problems telling people that it wasn’t me and that there was somebody else behind the scenes ‘living my life’ [on social media].
“We tried to work something out so I could control my own news but he didn’t want to work with us, we weren’t on the same [page] so we had no option but to shut the pages down. We shut down Facebook, we shut down Instagram, the Twitter account is still alive [at the current moment] but we are working on shutting that down also.
“This is a problem which has been going on for two years. It was making a lot of problems because [things were being said] politically and personally which were not me.
“It’s a pity for all my fans. More than two and half million fans and likes who had to get let down but it wasn’t me. I have a new team around me now who is going to focus on the social media, Facebook and a new website,” Hari says.
That new team is the aforementioned Gross and Deters, longtime veterans of the Dutch online media world. Gross is the maker and director of the acclaimed ‘The Reem’ web-documentary series while Deters has been consulted by many kickboxers on everything from design and marketing to PR strategy.
“Badr didn’t pay attention to it at first but then he was forced to realize how big of an impact this impostor was having on him,” says Deters.
“There are some mad stories about how crazy the guy is – he managed to get the Twitter and Facebook accounts verified and was uploading any kind of personal pictures he could find online.
“This was bugging Badr and so one of my observations was that if you don’t have an official website or your own social media pages, you give guys like this a chance to impersonate you.”
Hari has taken heed of the advice and is looking to gain control of his own online voice via new official accounts which have now been set up for him.
“All the accounts are going to be Badr84Hari. That will be my Facebook page, Twitter account and Instagram account. It will be all the personal, real updates which are true and which come from me. I hope all the people who followed the [fake] accounts will follow me now,” he says.
The official accounts are:
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