The battle to stop the spread of viral Andrew Tate content is not going to plan on YouTube – in fact, he’s probably laughing his head off at the whole thing.
The controversial kickboxer turned creator was struck with a blanket ban from every major tech company in 2022, with TikTok, Meta, and YouTube coming to the conclusion that he was sharing “hateful” ideas in viral clips.
In 2017, Tate was banned on Twitter for comments he made about women at the time, saying those affected by sexual assault should “bare some responsibility” – appearing to blame them for the abuse received.
Modern algorithm-based platforms such as YouTube Shorts and TikTok feed users certain videos based on their popularity, matched up with personalized interests of viewers. If you watch one short clip fully, you can expect a whole pipeline of similar uploads sent your way soon after.
How YouTube is failing to stop the spread
As seen below, Andrew Tate’s popularity (measured by Google search data) has increased drastically in the last six months.
If it’s a big trend, you can bet your bottom dollar that’s going to appear in your feed on YouTube Shorts, just like the Will Smith slap memes or the crypto crash of Bitcoin in recent months.
That presents a systemic issue for preventing harmful content, especially in this case, because it is not as easy as just turning off the tap. Over on Twitch, for example, if a streamer is banned, they have their account removed and cannot appear on other channels – case closed, you could argue.
Twitch is not perfect by any means but there is a clear path for the Amazon-owned platform to say “enough is enough” and not host Tate at all on their website.
YouTube, which has pushed to remove Andrew’s channels (clearly unhappy with the material he shares to a wide audience), does not operate in the same manner.
It is failing in its war against such hateful messaging, mainly due to three reasons.
1. Fan accounts
Tate fan accounts with various names are still sharing his beliefs across YouTube, from ‘Daily Andrew Tate’ to ‘TopG’. Not all of these name the influencer directly, either. While YouTube may have blocked his own channels, there’s nothing stopping these separate accounts chunking up his podcast appearances from years gone by and continue sharing it.
These are designed to tap into high search trends, push them to users interested in certain topics, and feed them more vids related to that topic if they watch it. And let’s face it, Andrew Tate has discussed every single topic under the sun in 2022 – from fighting KSI or Jake Paul, to suggesting ways for people to make more money. He has mastered how to make viral content in this environment.
YouTube does have a reasonable level of control regarding what it can make discoverable and what it chooses not to push to people’s recommended feeds. Nevertheless, Shorts is a whole different ballgame and it makes this type of controversial clips not just easy to digest at just a few seconds in length, but it’s also currently too easy to find. By watching YouTube Shorts suggested to you, after a few hours you will find almost every second or third video will include Tate. Those vary from aspirational money and rich lifestyle claims, to controversial opinions on how men should behave with their female partners.
These factors make YouTube’s mission to stop Andrew Tate and his hateful messaging a somewhat insurmountable task, regardless of previous actions taken. Sure, you can remove the channels he was posting on, but what happens when a CEO – such as Rumble’s Chris Pavlovski – decides he can continue posting there?
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It’s simple… Those large videos will be split up into digestible shorts, shared by the algorithms, and the illusion of a crackdown on this type of harmful content goes on. Not enough has been done, to date.
YouTube’s battle against Andrew Tate is far from over
To demonstrate the lack of success from a YouTube standpoint since his ban, which came first in July for misinformation and was followed up with a permaban in August, tracking the success of content related to Andrew Tate shows a worrying trend.
Since August 23, the top 10 videos mentioning Andrew Tate on YouTube have a combined 13 million views, at the time of writing. Seven of which are YouTube Shorts, while the others are different creators having their say on his ban – or challenging him to a boxing match, like KSI.
The top-viewed video is him revealing his brother has a young daughter, where he says: “She’s beautiful. She’s my niece. I don’t want her to grow up in a world where women are hated, or men are oppressive and hurting women… I want her to find a strong man who can protect her, who can provide for her, who can make sure she’s safe.”
This short was taken from a ‘final message’ clip he uploaded to Vimeo, on August 23. This shows that in spite of the ban, his takes can still thrive in a space they were supposed to be blocked out from.
Women have a set place and purpose according to the 35-year-old. A person is free to hold that view, though – as stated by a petition page to have him removed from TikTok – it’s the impact on younger men that could cause a problem down the road. Not everybody will agree with a blanket social media ban, of course, but many would surely agree an influencer of this size shouldn’t use his platform to be peddling hate. There are rules against hateful content on all major tech websites and he’s violated them all.
In previous comments, he said: “Why would you be with a woman who’s not a virgin anyway? She is used goods. Second hand.” In a debate on Twitch in 2022, he said: “One of the best things about being a man is being territorial and being able to say ‘that is mine’,” again referring to women.
There are hundreds of fan channels pumping out short 15-second clips of these quotes, and those of similar nature. Look at an account like ‘Tate Guides’. It posted a video labeled ‘Andrew Tate teaches feminism to the female host’ and received 3.6 million hits on Shorts. Others are on a smaller scale, such as EliteCut, racking up 25,000 views per upload for those covering ‘How to get women’.
A terrible cocktail of misogyny, alpha male attitude, as well as the promotion of sexist views on gender roles have left Tate reprimanded and isolated in terms of where he can post videos. Still, other accounts (many of which are looking for easy growth) are using a loophole to continue sharing what should be banned footage.
The viral success of his views is cause for concern in itself, yet the continued sharing of Tate’s material highlights the failure of YouTube so far in preventing users from consuming the very content he was banned for.
If the goal was to stop YouTube being used as a lever to peddle his controversial opinions on women, be in no doubt, the platform is losing this war so far.