Is Banning Andrew Tate Effective?


Tate built a massive online presence by posting violently misogynistic content. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Laine Finegan, Contributing Writer

Controversy always generates clicks, and no one knows that better than Andrew Tate. Former kickboxer, reality TV contestant and host of the podcast “Tate Speech,” Andrew Tate has built a massive online presence and garnered millions of followers by posting violently misogynistic content, condemning the “feminization of society” and aiming to “bring back manly men.” The Tate philosophy essentially consists of two ideas: women are weak, domestic creatures and men are their physically and mentally superior counterparts. Despite claiming that women should be obedient and that rape victims “bear some responsibility” for the violence inflicted upon them, Tate has refuted claims that he is a misogynist, stating his content “has nothing to do with hate for women … It’s simply about good and bad people. My mother is my hero.” 

However, his excuse has fallen on deaf ears, as the commentator was recently banned from Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and TikTok for violating community guidelines.

Given the crucial role that Twitter played in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, social media platforms have found themselves in hot water, forced to calculate the risk of allowing hot-tempered, high-profile figures a place on their platforms. These platforms seem to have reached the consensus that when a person’s post might move groups of people to violence, harassment or other misconduct, they should not be provided the means to do so. 

This has certainly been the case with Tate. Globally, teachers have been urging people to take Tate’s social media presence seriously, given the impact his content has had on their students. “The strain of masculinity offered by men such as Tate is attractive to young boys craving validation and male role models, and he exploits these vulnerabilities,” writes a teacher in the UK

It is easy to see why men, especially young men, fall victim to these concepts of masculinity. It is no secret that men have historically faced social pressure to act as breadwinners. While some men call this pressure a burden, Tate repackages it as a natural phenomenon, indicative of male superiority. He leans into the wealth-as-worth mindset, equating his possessions — flashy cars, a mansion and, in Tate’s mind, women — to his value as a man. Under this philosophy, Tate and his lifestyle serve as the epitome of masculinity and as an inspiration for his followers. 

Critics of Tate are often met with the response, “What color is your Bugatti?,” implying that Tate’s wealth substantiates his statements. To young men still influenced by gender roles and caught up in these glorified displays of wealth and power, Tate’s philosophy might seem empowering and cool. Tate’s ideology of manhood encourages such an unquestioned and unchecked confidence in his followers that it may encourage them to ignore the blatantly sexist beliefs Tate spouts. Tate wants men to feel uniquely confident, so confident that they can do whatever they please, whenever they please.

When it comes to the ethics of banning Andrew Tate from social media, I would argue that such action is necessary. But when one considers its efficacy, the answer becomes slightly more complicated. 

The truth is: being banned from Twitter will not stop Tate’s message from spreading. The bans are mere speed bumps in Tate’s marketing machine. He need not participate in social media platforms to personally profit off of them. The goal of his public appearances is to direct attention to his online academy, Hustler’s University, which sells the secrets to Tate’s brand of masculinity. 

But one cannot attribute Tate’s rise to infamy to these appearances alone. Rather, it is smaller creators who have made Tate a household name. These creators repost clips of Tate preaching his gospel, with affiliate links to Hustler’s University, providing them a financial incentive to convert men to the Tate philosophy. Additionally, the controversial nature of Tate’s comments drives even those who disagree with him to engage with these videos by commenting, sharing and “dueting,” all of which increases the video’s viewership and makes it go viral. Although the HU affiliate marketing program has now closed, this loop of engagement has not ended. Tate is as well-known as ever. 

To Tate, all publicity is good publicity. In the end, he doesn’t care if society brands him as a dangerous, violent misogynist, so long as he garners a dedicated and loyal fanbase which views his public condemnation as the consequence of speaking truth to power. As long as they keep watching, he keeps making money and expanding his community. That is not to say banning Tate serves no purpose. For one, it decentralizes his message. No longer can Tate-devotees take direction directly from him. Instead, they are forced to satiate their desire for a sense of superiority through smaller, less mainstream pages. 

Although social media platforms can, and should, ban users spouting hate speech, in the end, bans alone are insufficient in the face of such a malicious ideology. To thwart the spread of misogyny and violent rhetoric, we must look to the individuals to whom these ideas are peddled. Having an open and honest dialogue with fathers, brothers, sons and friends about misogyny is the first step, but holding people personally accountable for their harmful words and actions is crucial.

Women have been pressured into overlooking casual misogyny, fearing the labels men often place on outspoken women: “bitch,” “shrew,” “loudmouth.” It will take courageous women to call out misogyny and good men to align themselves with and defend those who have spoken out.

Laine Finegan, FCRH ‘24, is an English and communications & culture major from Rockville Centre, N.Y.