Who is Andrew Tate?
A self-proclaimed misogynist, Andrew Tate is a British-American social media influencer who has risen to prominence due to his videos filled with toxic hatred of women. He has been banned from several platforms but keeps manipulating social media algorithms to circulate harmful and violent content, especially to young men. Social media companies have consistently failed to act on videos of Tate promoting extreme misogyny shared by his followers and copycat accounts. Tate is facing trial in Romania for rape, human trafficking, and forming an organized crime group to sexually exploit women.
Who is Andrew Tate?
Andrew Tate is a social media influencer who promotes misogynistic views and violence against women. A former professional kickboxer, Tate rose to notoriety in 2016 when he was removed from the British version of the reality show Big Brother over a video of him hitting a woman with a belt. He claims that the images had been edited to make him look bad.
Following his short time in Big Brother’s house, Tate developed a relatively small online following and sold misogynist courses promising to teach men how to control women.
This changed in 2022 when Tate found that he could rack up billions of views on TikTok by posting controversial clips and offering his fans financial incentives to share them. With TikTok’s help, Tate’s misogynist content allowed him to develop a massive following in just four months, from April to August 2022.
Tate’s accounts have since been banned from TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube due to content that violated these companies’ guidelines. Tate’s Twitter account was reinstated under Elon Musk despite being banned since 2016 for tweeting that women should bear “some responsibility” for rape.
How is Tate still promoting hateful content despite social media bans?
Despite being banned from some social media platforms, Andrew Tate has created a scheme to manipulate algorithms and flood his followers with misogynistic videos. An investigation by the Observer showed that Tate uses members of his online academy, “Hustler’s University,” to repost his clips in exchange for a commission. To maximize his engagement, his content is filled with hate and controversy.
In November 2022, CCDH’s analysis identified more than 100 accounts that frequently promote content featuring Tate on TikTok, with a total of 250 million video views and 5.7 million followers. Videos posted by these accounts included clips of Tate saying that women should “take some degree of responsibility” to prevent rape, that “virgins are the only acceptable thing to marry,” and that women who do not want children are “miserable, stupid bitches”.
Social media companies have not only failed to act to stop Tate’s violent content from being amplified, but they have also profited from it. In 2022, CCDH identified 47 YouTube videos of Andrew Tate promoting extreme misogyny, of which nine were carrying paid advertisements from brands. In one of the clips, Tate talks about fighting women and says, “grip her up by the neck.” In another, he describes putting his “imprint” on girls as young as 18 or 19. Our researchers found that YouTube was making up to £3.4 million in ad revenue from these videos posted by channels dedicated to Tate.
Tate, the manosphere, and ‘alpha males’
The ‘manosphere’ is an umbrella term for a number of misogynistic online communities, including incels and men’s rights activists. In common, these online communities spread toxic masculinity and hate against women – often referring to women as ‘females’ in an attempt to dehumanize them. As a self-proclaimed misogynist, some parts of the manosphere consider Andrew Tate a champion of their toxic values and a poster boy for ‘alpha males.’
Borrowed from biology, the term ‘alpha male’ is used in the manosphere to refer to dominant men in society who are in charge and can choose their sexual partners. They think of themselves as physically and emotionally strong, and financially successful. In his videos, Tate claims to have overcome hardship and become a “self-made multi-millionaire,” boasting a luxurious lifestyle with expensive sports cars and private jets.
How Tate’s hateful ideology impacts society?
The failure of social media platforms to stop the amplification of Andrew Tate’s ideology allows extreme misogyny to go viral and reach more and more young people and children. Harmful claims such as that women belong in the home and become man’s property when they get married are reportedly being mimicked by schoolboys and are becoming a growing cause of concern for teachers and parents.
The online spread of toxic masculinity and normalization of violence against women present in Tate’s and other social media influencers’ speeches shape young men’s mentality and poses a real-life threat to women.
Where does Tate’s fortune come from?
Tate has used the notoriety obtained by the amplification of his misogynistic content on social media to attract followers to his online businesses. He founded the “Hustler’s University” (now rebranded as “Real World”), a private community hosted on the chat app Discord which Tate promises will “teach you exactly how to make money.” On this platform, he sells lessons and claims to give subscribers access to millionaires.
Tate and his brother Tristan also claim to have made millions from a ‘webcam business’ in which they made women perform in webcam pornography. Tate has openly talked about recruiting these women by having sex with them and getting them drunk. According to The Mirror, the brothers said the business was a “total scam” but that they made a fortune by running some men into debt.
Why was Andrew Tate arrested?
In June 2023, Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan were charged in Romania with rape, human trafficking, and forming an organized crime group to sexually exploit women. They will face trial in the country for allegedly recruiting seven women through fake claims of marriage and love.
According to a statement from the prosecutors, the Tate brothers took the victims to buildings in Ilfov County, where they were intimidated, placed under constant surveillance, forced into debt, and forced to take part in pornography.
Tate was first arrested in his home in Bucharest in December 2022. Both brothers and two other associates involved in the case have denied the allegations.
Andrew Tate is also accused by a British woman of violence. She told the BBC that in 2014 the influencer choked her until she passed out during sex. She never reported the case to the police; Tate denies the allegations.
Social media platforms’ responsibility
The decision made by Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok to remove Andrew Tate’s accounts to curb the spread of his extremist content was an important first step. However, it proved insufficient considering the influencer’s network of supporters instructed to repost his content and game the algorithm, as shown in CCDH’s research.
Platforms must stop enabling the circulation of violent misogynistic videos that often breach their own internal rules and community guidelines. They must also be more effective in acting against fake accounts amplifying hateful content.
Governments and legislators must enforce proper regulations to ensure social media companies, servers, and search engines are held accountable for the hate spread on their platforms.
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