Andrew Tate’s banned from YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. What’s he said that’s so bad?

The brash, shaven-headed grifter targets children, teenagers and young men with toxic, misogynistic opinions

Who is Andrew Tate?

He is a misogynistic grifter who is targeting children, teenagers and young men on social media with toxic opinions about women and a self-help scheme called Hustlers University that he wants everyone to subscribe to for $50 a month. He is worryingly popular. Hustlers University reportedly has more than 100,000 subscribers. TikTok videos featuring Tate have been watched more than 16 billion times.

Where did he come from?

He was born in Illinois but raised in Luton near London. He spent his 20s in TV production before becoming a kickboxer. He first came to public attention when he appeared on Big Brother in 2016 but was swiftly thrown out when a video emerged of him hitting a woman with a belt. (Both he and the woman insisted it was consensual and not abuse.) He currently lives in Romania, where for a while he ran a cam-girl business. At one point his house was raided as part of a human-trafficking investigation. He has “joked” that he lives in Romania because he is less likely to be charged with rape there.

He sounds awful. What are his social-media posts like?

He’s a brash, shaven-headed, sunglasses-wearing 35-year-old who flaunts his wealth and his muscles while speaking at the camera in the taunting tones of a school bully. He mimics the opinions of naysayers and “losers” in a whining accent. As with Donald Trump, it’s not always clear when he is joking and when he is being serious, and it’s unclear whether he knows this himself. This tactic allows everyone involved to think what they like about what he really believes.

What sort of things does he say?

He says that the only things stopping anyone from amassing great wealth are their own weakness and laziness. He says that only poor people drink tap water. He says that depression doesn’t exist. He says that women are men’s property. He says women “bear some responsibility” for being raped. He jokes about stabbing and beating women. He says that everyone should sign up for his Hustlers University instead of going to an actual university.


Hustlers University? That sounds official. What sort of education does it offer?

It offers hour-long, single-camera videos of Andrew Tate lambasting viewers for their weakness while boasting about his achievements. He does this apparently off the top of his head, without a script, sporadically drawing confusing diagrams on a whiteboard. I watched one of these videos and now I feel stupider. Until recently, Hustlers University also had an affiliate programme that encouraged members to bombard social media with Tate videos and to recruit further members for commission.

Why is this terrible person appealing to vulnerable young people?

Because being on social media a lot makes people feel lost, isolated and alone, and as a consequence people on social media are attracted to guru-like influencers who help them feel less lost, isolated and alone. These guru-like figures run the gamut from relatively harmless advocates of mindfulness and self-care to people like Andrew Tate, who tell them things they want to hear about their superiority over others.

What can be done?

Tate has now been banned from YouTube, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, but his fans still post his content on all those platforms. He has also shut down his Hustlers University affiliate scheme. But he hasn’t gone away, and there will be other Andrew Tates to come. Parents and guardians should talk regularly to the children and teenagers in their care about what sort of content they’re viewing online and how being online makes them feel.

Patrick Freyne

Patrick Freyne

Patrick Freyne is a features writer with The Irish Times