Voices: I’ve seen behind the curtain of men like Andrew Tate – and I believe I know how to beat him

News of Andrew Tate’s arrest has been met with relief by many hoping this will bring an end to his relevance. However, in my view (and experience) the damage is done. Tate’s views, amplified by social media, has already led to huge numbers of young men from my generation being manipulated, and without urgent intervention we may end up with a lost generation of young men. Let me tell you what I’ve seen.

There is no denying the immense reach Tate achieved. He was the most Googled man over the summer of 2022. Videos with his hashtag have amassed 13 billion views on TikTok. His mentoring scheme currently has 160,000 paying subscribers.

Once you delve into what Tate preaches to the masses, his social media reach is terrifying. Tate has made comments such as, “women bear some responsibility for rape”; has compared women to dogs and proudly confessed in one video with a fellow YouTuber to being an “absolute misogynist”, stating that he was in fact a “realist” and “when you’re a realist, you’re sexist”. The amplification of these views should terrify everyone.

You may think these outrageous comments would never influence people in your close circle, but with Tate amassing such a following it is inevitable. On a personal level I have witnessed young men of my generation echo Tate’s sentiments. University classmates have feverously defended his right to free speech, even though they claim to not fully support his ideology.

Mutual friends have reposted his videos onto social media with no second thought for how such content would affect their women and LGBT friends. One close friend remarked to me that he observed family friends as young as 10 expressing support for him.

Teachers across the country have raised the alarm on how Tate has effectively radicalised a generation of young men and has fuelled misogyny in the classroom. They have noticed an increase in sexist incidents with many students referencing Tate’s ideas and parroting his catchphrases. Moreover, male students are becoming hostile when issues such as gender equality are discussed in the classroom.

Tate appears to have successfully tapped into feelings of loneliness and anger amongst young men who have been missold the lie that that they are somehow “losing power” due to changing gender relations. They turn to Tate and see him as a male role model due to his material success. Without solutions to protect vulnerable impressionable men of my generation, my fear is that Tate will continue to have a lasting negative influence.

So, what do we do? Well, deplatforming is a controversial tool to counter the spread of these ideas, but evidence shows it works. After many social media platforms pulled the plug on Tate’s accounts, Google searches for his name fell by around 60 per cent. Subsequentially, other creators feared including him in their content in case their accounts would suffer the same fate. However, this isn’t the silver bullet.

Social media platforms must do more, especially with algorithms. Users on TikTok have been bombarded with content regarding Tate if they simply just watch a video about men’s health, as the platform tailors what it pushes to young men. And we already know Tate has substantial links with far right organisations.

Teachers and parents also have a big part to play in tackling this issue. It is imperative that teachers keep up to date with the latest social media platforms so they can understand what their students are using and talking about.

It is my firm belief that educators should not be immediately judgemental to students echoing Tate’s views. Instead, open debate in the classroom should be encouraged so teachers can understand their student’s beliefs fully. Judgemental behaviour, I think, feeds into this anti-establishment rhetoric that Tate echoes which makes these young men feel victimised and even more “left behind.”

Teachers should instead be frank with their pupils about how Tate’s scheming works, explaining how he uses tactics to manipulate and influence his audience. If there’s one thing young people hate, it’s the idea that they are being controlled! Parents should also be having frank and honest conversations with their children.

Most importantly, we need to start promoting positive male role models. Tate and other far right influencers have successfully managed to fill the vacuum of male role models that young men look up to. Yet, when I try to think of famous positive male role models, I struggle to name enough to complete a count even on one hand.

We need to amplify the voices of these role models who can reach young people and who will passionately argue against the ideology of Tate and others. They can inform my generation that values of inclusivity and progressivism are compatible with a strong masculine identity.

Tate’s star is certainly waning but there will always be another Andrew Tate. These solutions are needed to prevent a generation of young men being radicalised and falling down a rabbit hole of far-right ideas.