YouTube has become the latest platform to permanently ban former kickboxer Andrew Tate for breaching its rules on hate speech.
The website said channels associated with Mr Tate had been removed for breaching its terms of service, following similar moves by Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
Mr Tate, 35, first came to prominence when he appeared on the TV show Big Brother in 2016, but was removed from the programme after a video surfaced online which appeared to show him attacking a woman with a belt – a clip he claimed had been edited.
Since then, he has gained further notoriety online for a string of comments about women, including suggesting that they ‘bear some responsibility’ if they are assaulted – an incident which led to him being banned from Twitter.
In one video, Tate advised men accused of cheating by their girlfriends to ‘bang out the machete, boom in her face and grip her by the neck. Shut up b*tch.’
Controversial influencer Andrew Tate, 35, has been banned from Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok and Instagram
Before entering the Big Brother house in 2016, Tate had a kickboxing career and trained at a club in Luton
Born in Chicago, Illinois, but brought up in Luton, Bedfordshire, Tate has garnered a reputation over his various business activities.
He operated a website called ‘Hustler’s University’ in which members pay a monthly fee in order to receive instructions on dropshipping and cryptocurrency. Tate’s followers earned commission for signing up new members, leading critics to label it a ‘pyramid scheme’. The marketing programme closed this month.
Together with his brother Tristan, he allegedly set up a webcam business in Romania in which young models told sob stories to unsuspecting male viewers. Despite telling the Sunday Mirror that the site was ‘a total scam’, Tate claims to have made millions from it.
But it is his outspoken videos, popular with many young men, for which Tate is chiefly known. Clips on Instagram under the hashtag Andrew Tate have racked up over 11.6 billion views, and clips of on TikTok have been viewed more than 13 billion times.
At the time of his removal, he had 4.7 million followers on Instagram – this number had grown rapidly from around one million followers just two months ago in June.
A number of campaign groups have criticised Mr Tate for his views and warned he was a danger to young men and boys who see his content online, urging the various platforms on which he is active to remove him.
Joe Mulhall, director of research at Hope Not Hate, said: ‘We are delighted that after discussions with YouTube, and our public campaigning, they have permanently removed his account.
‘Andrew Tate’s YouTube account was a huge source for harmful content which spread like wildfire across the internet.
‘But more action is required from all major tech platforms to make the internet a safer place. Removing Tate’s accounts from platforms does not automatically remove his content.’
‘Toxic influencer’ Andrew Tate (pictured) says he was ‘playing a comedic character’ in videos which have been slammed as misogynistic after the ex-Big Brother star was banned from Facebook and Instagram for ‘violating policies’
TikTok said it has been taking action against videos and accounts that are found to violate its community guidelines.
A TikTok spokesperson said: ‘Misogyny is a hateful ideology that is not tolerated on TikTok.
‘We’ve been removing violative videos and accounts for weeks, and we welcome the news that other platforms are also taking action against this individual.’
Meta, said it had removed the controversial influencer’s official accounts for breaching its rules around dangerous organisations or individuals and that he was now banned from using either Facebook or Instagram.
The ex-Big Brother star responded to the bans by telling MailOnline that he was ‘a fantastic role model for all people, both male and female’, adding that his platform ‘would be a beacon of light, teaching people of all genders and races how to respect one another’.
Videos on Instagram under the hashtag Andrew Tate have racked up over 11.6 billion views, and clips of on TikTok have been viewed more than 13 billion times. The influencer is pictured while on Big Brother
Videos on Instagram under the hashtag Andrew Tate have racked up over 11.6 billion views, and clips of on TikTok have been viewed more than 13 billion times
Influencer Andrew Tate’s controversial past
Historic tweets by Tate were unearthed depicting allegedly abusive messages he sent to singer Cheryl regarding her marriage to footballer Ashley Cole.
In one message he refers to Cheryl and her former husband as ‘massive w*g sockets,’ as well as launching an attack on Canadian rapper Drake.
He is also said to have posted the now-deleted comment: ‘If I wanted to see black people running I’d just threaten them with jobs.’
The 35-year-old was booted off the show after a video emerged of Tate beating his ex-girlfriend with a belt, which he claims is the reason why he was removed from the Channel 5 reality show the day before.
The clip shows the star continually hitting the woman with his belt – he also slaps her across the face.
But the star insisted it was ‘playful fun’ and said at the time: ‘A longer version of the video shows us laughing and I’m hitting myself saying ‘it doesn’t hurt’. ‘I’m still friends with her and she’s in the UK with me now. I would never hit a woman.’
Tate stoked the fires of controversy again shortly before World Suicide Day when he tweeted ‘depression isn’t real’.
He wrote: ‘There are very few fat lonely man, aged 60 with no money or family or hobbys. Who arnt depressed. – this is not a clinical disease’.
His remarks were later blasted by former boxer Ricky Hatton and best-selling author J.K Rowling.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, Tate caused controversy with his comments about rape.
At the time, he tweeted: ‘Women have been exchanging sex for opportunity for a very long time. Some did this. Weren’t abused. […] If you put yourself in a position to be raped, you must bear some responsibility.’
Twitter removed the tweets for violating their policy and Tate’s account was suspended, however he has since gone on to become a verified user.
Tate and his brother Tristan allegedly ran a cam girl business in Romania after moving there in 2017, where ’75 lingerie-clad models take calls from fans paying $4 a minute’.
He previously said: ‘I could open a strip club, but that takes money and I need overhead, I need money. How can I use these women to make me money.
‘At the height of my webcam pimpin’ I think I am the king of the world […] the problem is the first two girls worked for me because they loved me, […] but once you get bigger you start hiring girls who don’t love you. They are in it for the money.’
According to Daily Beast, Tate’s mansion was raided by Romanian authorities in relation to an alleged human trafficking incident.
The investigation followed a tip off from the US Embassy that a 21-year-old American woman was being held at the home against her will.
The case is ongoing. The brothers were released at the time and deny all wrongdoing.
In a statement after his ban by Meta last week, Mr Tate denied he held misogynistic views and accused his critics of ‘twisting facts’.
He said: ‘It is very unfortunate that old videos of me, where I was playing a comedic character, have been taken out of context and amplified to the point where people believe absolutely false narratives about me.
‘In the last two weeks I dedicated over 1million dollars to charities supporting women. I posted this on Instagram, but Instagram ignored it.
‘Internet sensationalism has purported the idea that I’m anti-women when nothing could be further from the truth. This is simply hate mobs who are uninterested in the facts of the matter trying to personally attack me. They twist facts and produce fancy documents full of half truths and lies to attack people they don’t like.
‘I will always have millions of fans around the world and my platform would be a beacon of light, teaching people of all genders and races how to respect one another for years to come. Now these fans can not learn important lessons of love. Why?
‘With my Instagram page, I began to prove all of the negative narratives false and show the world tolerance. My fans would follow in my footsteps of tolerance and love and the world would become a better place.
‘I was even instructing all of my supporters to be respectful in discourse against those who do not like me. My fans would respectfully and logically reply to death threats. Hate doesnt fix anything. Love does.
‘I was receiving over 10,000 death threats a day on the platform. Instagram ignored it. Somehow I am the villain, when all of my posts were bible verses and charitable donations. Banning me only inspires more internet hate mobs and more division. This will become a weapon of attack for different points of view for the forseeable future.
‘Instagram allowing me to return to educate the youth of today on the importance of respect for one another is the most powerful thing they could do.
‘I have nothing but positivity to spread regarding all PEOPLE, whether male OR female, and this has been reflected in all of my recent messaging and posts.
‘I am a mixed race man raised by a single mother. I suffered all of the disadvantages of the old world. I am a fantastic role model for all people, both male and female.’
In a statement given to Bloomberg, a YouTube spokesperson said that channels associated with Mr Tate had been removed because of ‘multiple violations’ of YouTube’s community guidelines and terms of service, including its hate speech policy.
‘If a channel is terminated, the uploader is unable to use, own or create any other YouTube channels,’ the statement said.
Online safety and anti-hate campaign groups said they had been warning of the dangers of Mr Tate’s online commentary for some time, noting that videos of him were often widely re-shared by his followers and supporters, and urged social media platforms to go beyond just banning personal or linked accounts he was known to use.
Videos of and about Mr Tate, often posted and re-shared by others, have become increasingly popular in recent months on YouTube and TikTok in particular – a hashtag of Mr Tate’s name on TikTok has received more than 13 billion views, leading campaigners to call for further action to be taken to stop the spread of what it says is dangerous content.
Ruth Davison, chief executive of women’s safety charity Refuge, said Meta had made the ‘right decision’ in banning Mr Tate from its channels last week.
‘This is the kind of decisive action needed to tackle the online radicalisation of young men towards a violently misogynistic worldview,’ she said.
‘The same kind of action is now needed outside of high-profile cases like this – we know that women are experiencing stalking, harassment and abuse online every day, often without so much as a response from social media companies.’
Imran Ahmed, chief executive of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, said Mr Tate’s ‘hatred’ had been ‘amplified into millions of young men’s newsfeeds’.
He said social media platforms now needed to do more to crack down on videos showing Tate or those which amplify his views.
‘More needs to be done. Tate encourages his followers to post his videos using their own accounts and link back to his website. Accounts are still pumping out clips of Tate as part of his Hustler’s University pyramid scheme. YouTube is rife with videos doing this, and have made Google up millions in ad revenue,’ he said.
‘Meta should now go further and ensure that other people posting videos containing Mr Tate are sanctioned for breaching their community standards on hate, and ban the posting of links to his website, which contains material designed to radicalise young men.’