Figures that lay bare the shocking scale of toxic influencer Andrew Tate’s reach among young men

Exclusive: Polling finds eight in 10 teenage boys have watched Tate’s content

Maya Oppenheim
Women’s Correspondent
Thursday 16 February 2023 16:54
Andrew Tate leaves Bucharest court in handcuffs amid human trafficking allegations

More young men in the UK have seen material from the influencer Andrew Tate than have heard of Rishi Sunak, according to a new poll.

Research found that eight in 10 boys aged between 16 and 17 had either read, listened to or watched content from the misogynistic “success coach”.

Around six in 10 boys had heard of the PM and roughly four in 10 knew who London mayor Sadiq Khan was, just slightly more than around a third of boys who had heard of the Labour leader Keir Starmer.

The survey, carried out by leading anti-fascism charity Hope not hate, and shared exclusively with The Independent, found boys aged between 16 and 17 were 21 per cent more likely to have consumed Mr Tate’s material than had heard of Mr Sunak.

Mr Tate, a former kickboxing world champion who once referred to married women as “property” that their husbands own, has been imprisoned in Romania since late December alongside his brother and two other suspects.

They will be detained until 17 February on alleged rape and human trafficking offences – after Mr Tate lost his appeal to end his detention earlier in the month. They deny all charges.

Researchers, who polled over 1,200 people in the UK aged between 16 to 24, discovered that 45 per cent of men have a positive view of Mr Tate, while only 26 held a negative opinion of the influencer. When probed about why they like Mr Tate, most said they thought Mr Tate “wants men to be real men” or that “he gives good advice”.

However, just 1 per cent of women aged 16 to 17 had a positive opinion of Mr Tate, while 82 per cent viewed him negatively.

Rosie Carter, director of policy at Hope not hate, said: “Tate’s misogynist, homophobic and racist content is seen online by millions of young people. His confidence, his money and his lifestyle are all carefully crafted to make his brand of hateful content seem aspirational.

“Tate’s violent misogyny is harmful and he goes far beyond ‘women belong in the kitchen’ jokes. The shocking disparity in how teenage girls and boys feel about him suggests that Tate’s targeting of young men has had a direct negative impact on young women as his ideas are carried by young men both on and offline.”

Ms Carter, whose organisation is working with schools to confront hate, said that the consumption of Mr Tate’s content routinely paves the way to young men encountering “more extreme content”.

A parent calling a helpline run by children’s charity NSPCC said: “I’m calling about my 17-year-old son. I’ve noticed his behaviour has been changing lately; he seems to have a strong dislike towards women. Like, he often refers to girls as ‘b****s’ and that men are basically the superior sex.

They are so influenced by him. They started picking on me and some of my friends because we are girls wanting to become things that ‘aren’t for women’. It’s made me feel like I’ll never get into my chosen field considering people like them will be in the future generation.

13-year-old girl

“He spends all his time on his phone, like any teenager, and I’m worried he is being radicalised from what he’s viewing online.

“I can’t be sure what sites he’s looking at but he’s mentioned this Andrew Tate fella, who I’ve seen has millions of followers.”

The Independent previously reported on research by the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) which unearthed 47 videos of Mr Tate pushing what it describes as “extreme misogyny”.

The report uncovered adverts on videos where Mr Tate discusses fighting women, saying “grip her up by the neck” in a video, which has been viewed 1.6 million times, as well as referring to putting his “imprint” on 18-19-year-old girls in footage which has accrued 8.4 million views.

A 13-year-old girl, who called Childline, a counselling service for children and young people, said “all the boys” in her class talk about Mr Tate.

“They are so influenced by him,” she added. “They started picking on me and some of my friends because we are girls wanting to become things that ‘aren’t for women’. It’s made me feel like I’ll never get into my chosen field considering people like them will be in the future generation.”

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