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Andrew Tate’s Twitter continues to reach millions of followers despite arrest

Misogynist influencer’s account remains on-brand even with its namesake behind bars

Liam James
Wednesday 11 January 2023 05:18 GMT
Andrew Tate leaves Bucharest court in handcuffs amid human trafficking allegations

Misogynist internet personality Andrew Tate has been held by police in Romania since 29 December but his Twitter account has continued to post the former kickboxer’s particular brand of conspiracy-laden content to his 4.5 million followers.

Several tweets have referenced the controversial influencer’s arrest alongside his brother on charges of human trafficking, rape and organised crime, with cryptic references to a so-called “Matrix” that is claimed to be working against him.

Other tweets follow the pattern established after Mr Tate’s once-banned account returned last year, with a mix of religious citations, challenges to the masculinity of his fans, warnings against alleged powers that be and promotions for his other content.

The account continued to be active even as Mr Tate and his brother sat in a court appeal hearing on Tuesday, resharing posts with messages of support for the pair.

Attention was drawn to the Twitter page on Sunday after it reshared a report from Romanian media that said Andrew and Tristan had been hospitalised after a medical examination, with an accompanying message reading: “The Matrix has attacked me. But they mistunderstand, you cannot kill an idea.”

Most of the tweets from Mr Tate’s account are posted in first person, with one notable exception being a poll asking: “Do you believe Andrew Tate is totally innocent?”

The poll, which according to Buzzfeed News was sent to subscribers to his newsletter, offered the options: “Innocent, Matrix attack” and “I believe the media”, which received 86.3 per cent and 13.7 per cent respectively of 970,418 votes.

More than 80 tweets and retweets have been posted on Mr Tate’s account since his arrest. Many of them allege that “The Matrix” is controlling events, particularly Mr Tate’s detention.

The claimed belief that humans live in a simulated world as depicted in the 1999 science fiction movie The Matrix has gathered popularity with conspiracy theorists such as Mr Tate in recent years.

Andrew, right, and Tristan Tate leave court after appeal hearing on Tuesday (EPA)

Online adherents to the theory will refer to having taken the “Red Pill”, another reference to the film, to suggest that they have seen through the simulation.

Mr Tate also presents followers with an image of himself as a hyper-masculine prophet figure. Each day, followers of Mr Tate will see messages telling them they are not trying hard enough, often in contrast to his claimed higher status.

A typical tweet, posted more than one week after his arrest, reads: “Mental resilience is trained. It is practiced. Like all else of virtue. You must fortify your mind against negative thoughts. I can’t even remember how it feels to doubt myself.”

Other tweets from Mr Tate include citations from the Quran, the holy text that Mr Tate, an Islamic convert, carried with him into court on Tuesday. Muslim voices in the media have taken issue with Mr Tate’s approach to his faith, given his self-professed misogyny.

Tate, as seen on Channel 5’s Big Brother in 2016 (PA)

Mr Tate’s popularity has raised concern with authorities in Britain, where The Times reported that specialists are being brought in to schools to “de-radicalise” young boys swayed by the influencer’s espoused views.

Hope not Hate, an advocacy group, said it monitored Mr Tate for years “because of his close links to the far right”. It described the influencer in a report it produced last year as an “extreme misogynist” who holds conspiratorial views.

“Our major concern is that his brand of extreme and sometimes violent misogyny is reaching a young male audience and that he could serve as a gateway to wider far-right politics,” Hope not Hate said.

His extreme comments – he infamously said rape victims must “bear responsibility” for being attacked – led to three of his Twitter accounts being banned.

A man stands outside the Court of Appeal during the hearings for the Tate brothers (AP)

In August last year, he was banned from Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube after expressing derogatory views of women.

But Mr Tate returned to Twitter under Elon Musk’s ownership and has retained a strong following with many willing to defend him over his arrest despite the seriousness of the crimes alleged.

His arrest centred around allegations by six victims of “acts of physical violence and mental coercion” and sexual exploitation, Romanian authorities said.

Diicot, Romania’s organised crime investigation bureau, said the organised crime group Mr Tate and his brother are suspected of being part of lured women by pretences of love and later intimidated them into performing pornographic acts intended to reap substantial financial gains.

Mr Tate continues to reach his millions of followers from behind bars.

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