HOPE not hate has previously detailed Andrew Tate’s violent misogyny, racism, homophobia and links to the far right. As a social media influencer with a large following, understanding how his content is received by his audience is vital in understanding the harm he causes.
A former professional kickboxer, Andrew Tate gained notoriety in 2016 after appearing on the reality TV show Big Brother. In recent years he has made a name for himself for his social media presence where he often pedalled anti-feminism and misogyny. He has connections to a variety of far-right figures in both the UK and the USA.
Until his YouTube channel was removed last week, the channel had 768,000 followers and over 83,000 comments across his videos. YouTube was just one of the platforms Tate used before extensive bans, but it played an important role as the source of his video content, which was then spread on other platforms, most notably TikTok. The comments on his videos therefore provide insight into the audience of this misogynist online influencer. Among them, we find far-right conspiracy theories, antisemitism and, unsurprisingly, virulent misogyny.
Using a machine learning model, we classified the 83,845 comments from Tate’s YouTube account available before its removal (it is worth noting that YouTube may have moderated these comments and removed hateful comments) into comments supporting Tate, negative comments and neutral comments. Positive comments are supportive of Tate himself and his content. Comments classified as neutral commonly include discussions of the content, as well as questions or responses to other users. As is usually the case, these make up the vast majority of the comments. Negative comments are those critical of Tate or his content.
A simple but important reflection is that the responses to Tate’s videos are generally supportive. Out of all comments, 21% (17,485) are supportive of Tate. Many of these directly idolise Tate, with users attributing their own positive life change to him.
“TRUST IN TATE”
“They need to bring more people here from Tate’s dimension. I’m sick of all this soy boy shit.”
“He truly knows what he’s talking about, and people think his bullshiting”
It is worth noting that there are a large number of comments directing questions to Tate, often on the topics of money and physical exercise. These have been classified as neutral, but could be argued that they indicate some form of trust in Tate.
10% (8,437) comments are negative, slightly less than half the number of positive. Some of these show mild disagreement, while others directly ridicule or attack Tate. Negative feedback has increased in recent weeks, corresponding with Tate’s rise to more mainstream fame.
“Man looks like he got punched in eye cuz of all the ridiculous thing that comes out of his mouth”
“He’s cheated too”
Tate’s misogyny is harmful in and of itself. However, it does not exist in a vacuum and can be tied to far-right ideology and the worldview of the so-called “manosphere”: a loose collection of forums, blogs, vlogs and organisations concerned with men’s issues and masculinity, oriented around opposition to feminism. Parts of the manosphere are highly misogynistic and have, in recent years, grown increasingly extreme and close to the far right, utilising racist conspiracy theories to explain perceived societal issues.
A core argument within the manosphere is that feminism promotes misandry (prejudice against men) rather than equality for women. While the manosphere is also concerned with legitimate issues, such as suicide and mental health issues among men, it places the blame for such issues at the feet of women, feminism, and broader progressive politics.
Tate’s misogynist statements reflect the cross-pollination of the manosphere with the far right, a phenomenon explored at length in our 2021 report. For example, he often peppers his misogynist statements with far-right terminology and conspiracy theories, thereby potentially introducing his audience to further harmful ideas.
In a recently deleted video from 2018 on the #MeToo movement, Tate attacks the feminist and anti-sexual violence movement on the basis that he thinks women will “weaponise” it against men, saying: “we’ve given every female in the Western world a weapon […] You can never piss off a female ever because if you do they have a weaponized response.” In doing so, Tate portrays women as inherently deceitful and having malicious intent against men, as is common in the manosphere.
He goes on to say: “Me Too, this sexual-assault bullshit has fucked up the Western world. The Western world is finished because of this garbage. We need to put a stop to it”.
Elevating the issue to a civilisational threat puts Tate firmly in the group of far-right and manosphere figures who see emancipatory progress as destructive because of its supposed effect on birth rates, weakening men and because of the view that women are less capable of taking decisions on their own.
A similar perspective is frequent in the comments of Tate’s videos:
“Strong men make good times, good times make weak men, weak men make bad times”
“Stop fucking feminist bullshit . Oh we are equal . We are fucking different”
“We’ve been brainwashed. What do think extreme feminism is. It’s just to start shit. Reality is it’s just what you said. This common sense”
“Life is sexist. Get over it.”
Polling of 16-24 year olds by HOPE not hate in May 2020 found an overlap between anti-feminist views and racist views. Those who felt strongly that “feminism has gone too far and makes it harder for men to succeed” were roughly twice as likely to think that making a joke based on someone’s race or religion is acceptable, and more than twice as likely to think that discrimination against white people has become as big a problem.
That is why it is concerning that language common within the far right can easily be found in Tate’s comments section. One such term is “red pill”. In the manosphere, this term is used to refer to the realisation that women are actually more privileged than men and feminism is a tool of domination rather than a movement for equality. Within the far right, it has morphed to mean the acceptance of the idea that the West/white people are facing a civilisational threat and, oftentimes, antisemitic conspiracy theories.
Comments such as “Tate red Pilling the masses…. Keep this man safe from the cabal..” and “This is beyond redpill” on a video about The Great Reset (a conspiracy theory common among the far right centred on a plan to solve overpopulation by exploiting COVID-19) indicate that many of Tate’s followers use the “red pill” term in its far-right variants.
Some are even more explicitly antisemitic: “If [Andrew Tate] started redpilling people on the ✡️ then truly they would be the best” and “Its the jews”.
Another common theme in Tate’s content that is also reflected in the comments section is societal degeneration. In this argument there is also a virulent homophobia.
Societal degeneration is also a central topic within the far right and it has increasingly moved into more mainstream elements of the conservative right. The idea, which is often used as an attack on progressive ideas, refers to the idea that society is becoming morally bankrupt and no-longer adheres to “traditional values” (or in some cases, “natural laws”). It is often used to attack progressive movements such as LGBTQ+ rights and feminism, which are viewed as signs of a weakening of society.
Tate has frequently used such arguments, as well as attacking those he considers to be weak men. Sometimes he explicitly references homosexuality: ”Romania is a beautiful place. There’s no feminists, there’s no open homosexuality. [….] No homosexual agenda. No feminists.”
His comment section also find a large number of people who refers to the degeneration of society while referring to gay men and “soy boys” (a far-right meme aimed at progressive men) as well as feminism and other progressive causes.
“Tate Chanel is taking off, this is going to piss some people off, and when I say peope i don’t mean actual human beings but the liberal sjw crowd and their acolyte s, soyboys and low T beta blue pill blue checkmark crowd… 🍿”
Among the comments are many other users who agree:
“Tate is a breath of fresh air in a sea of modern day degeneracy”
“We live in a society that promotes degeneracy..ratchedness.. laziness…all types of f***ery. But they want to cancel Positively Inspirational Motivating Person(s) like Tate. At this rate all the men who become rich and powerful to their own accord should leave the west and let it crumble.”
“Arranged marriage, like in ancient China, India, Middle East, etc. They had it right all along. We’ve just degenerated.”
“The gays and women have taken over. He’s speaking the truth”
“There are only 2 types of people who hate tate. Feminist blue hair and weak soymen. They become so insane that they hate masculine men”
Because notions of degeneracy are so common in both the far right and the manosphere, they can act as an entry point to these ideologies, including antisemitic conspiracy theories.
That Tate could be admired by young men should be of great concern. His removal from multiple online platforms is positive and will significantly decrease his audience size. However, it will not remove the fertile ground that Tate has exploited.
Direct parroting of Tate’s language and that of the manosphere in his comments indicates that he has meaningful influence, at the minimum as a reinforcement of pre-existing ideas and at the worst an introduction to new harmful ideologies.
Tate’s misogyny is harmful on its own, but his use of far-right conspiracy theories to explain and justify his misogyny provides a road into other extreme and violent ideologies.
Read our briefing on violent misogynist Andrew Tate.
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