Andrew Tate’s Arrest: How his Online Commentary Relates to the Accusations Against Him
Countless women's rights and anti-domestic violence organizations have classified Tate's content as extremely dangerous.
Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan Tate were arrested on December 29th, 2022, as part of an investigation into human trafficking, rape, and organized crime accusations. The police raided the infamous social media influencer's compound, and he and his brother/ business partner are being held for 30 days while Romanian authorities continue investigating. The investigation that led to their arrest started last April when a 21-year-old American woman told someone in the US she was being held against her will in Romania. That person then alerted the authorities. This accusation led to the finding of several other alleged victims. Tate denies all allegations, however, it only takes a few minutes and some TikTok searches to find hundreds of interviews and podcast episodes in which Tate candidly discusses his misogynistic ideology and describes his dysfunctional relationships with women. These videos often reference ownership, superiority, power, and abuse themes.
Although Tate's rise to social media stardom and his content being accessed by millions of followers is relatively recent, his encounters with the law predate his global fame and are also tied to allegations of rape and abuse. He was accused of rape in two separate cases in 2015 but walked free as the investigation, which took at least four years, fell through once it reached the Crown Prosecution Service. Following this incident, he began receiving increased scrutiny in the UK and moved to Romania. Tate later said about his move: "40 percent of the reason I moved to Romania was because [the] rape laws are more lenient there." He followed up with, "I'm not a rapist, but I like the idea of just being able to do what I want." The openness of his problematic discourse begs the question: Should authorities be able to consider his vast portfolio of misogynistic remarks as potential evidence in his case?
Tate has admitted to bringing women into the adult entertainment business on now-deleted pages on his website. He has talked about his former business endeavors with his brother: "I had 75 women working for me in four locations, and I was doing $600,000 a month from webcam," and went on to describe how he'd get women to fully submit to him using a standard sex trafficking scheme referred to as the "Loverboy Method." In these situations, men use an idealized serious relationship with a victim to get them to fully trust them and believe that there's a genuine connection before forcing them to engage in exploitative sexual acts and take full control of their lives. In an article from his page, deleted in February 2022, he mentioned: "My job was to meet a girl, go on a few dates, sleep with her, test if she's quality, get her to fall in love with me to where she'd do anything I say and then get her on webcam so we could become rich together." Similarly, in 2017 he was banned from Twitter for suggesting that women should bear some responsibility for their rape, as he responded to content about the Harvey Weinstein scandal at the start of the #MeToo movement.
Countless women's rights and anti-domestic violence activists and organizations have classified Tate's content as extremely dangerous to young men, who are his primary audience and are constantly targeted on platforms such as TikTok and Youtube. However, there's only been an increase in his viewership and popularity. His followers, many of who are men in their teens and twenties and are disciples of Tate's "Hustler's University" online subscription, are tasked with sharing his content far and wide to manipulate the algorithm artificially. The power of his reach and his ability to appeal to impressionable men with messages that border radicalization should be taken more seriously by the media and the authorities investigating him. However, in cases like this one, the complexities of freedom of speech come into play. How much Tate and similar characters must spew hate and problematic rhetoric before it is considered a concrete threat to society?
Andrew Tate Is Charged With Human Trafficking and Rape in Romania, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/30/world/europe/andrew-tate-romania-arrest.html
Andrew Tate: The self-proclaimed misogynist influencer, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-64125045
Andrew Tate: Investigation that could bring down ‘king of toxic masculinity’ https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/jan/06/andrew-tate-investigation-could-bring-down-king-toxic-masculinity