Over the course of 2022, Andrew Tate, a kickboxer from Britain, has emerged as a huge online star for disaffected, often highly misogynist young men. Tate was initially most famous for being expelled from Big Brother in 2016 after footage emerged of him hitting a woman with a belt. However, this year his social media platforms, most of which have now been banned, have exploded. His videos on TikTok have been watched 11.6 billion times and in July more people searched for him on Google than either Donald Trump or Kim Kardashian.
Tate has been active online for years. He initially received attention amid the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse cases for tweeting that sexual assault victims share responsibility for their assaults. Since then he has shared a range of highly misogynistic views, claiming that women ‘belong to men’ and saying he would attack a woman with a machete if she were to accuse him of infidelity. He has become a favourite of the far right, appearing on InfoWars, the podcast of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and mingling with the likes of far-right YouTuber Paul Joseph Watson, Donald Trump Jr and Nigel Farage. It is, however, only recently that Tate has gone mainstream, with what experts describe as a coordinated approach from his followers, which has successfully used algorithms to expand his profile.
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