An illustration featuring social media influencer Andrew Tate. The former kickboxer was removed from social media platforms TikTok, YouTube and Facebook in recent weeks.TIM GIORLANDO/THE STATESMAN

Andrew Tate, a content creator and former professional kickboxer, was removed from social media platforms TikTok, YouTube and Facebook due to the conclusion that his platform promoted hateful speech that had violated community guidelines.

This comes as no surprise as Tate is infamous for using personal anecdotes about his life and translating them into facts that his young and impressionable audience believes. These “facts” range from his assertion that victims of sexual assault are partially to blame for their attacks to his belief that depression doesn’t exist and is a by-product of capitalism.

Tate’s removal from social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube has done little to deter his loyal fanbase and his influence in the realm of “alpha-male” culture. In fact, Tate has moved to Rumble, a conservative social media platform, and brought his followers with him. Rumble has seen a 45.3% surge in daily active users in previous weeks.

The rise of “alpha-male” content on social media has disturbing implications regarding the values and misogynistic messages being preached to their young male followers. YouTubers such as Alpha M and FreshandFit promote the objectification of women — as well as their rigid standards of masculine dominance — to their vulnerable audiences. However, no content creator has had the influence and ability to incite outrage amongst the general public more than Tate.

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In fact, Tate’s influence over his followers stretches so far that his audience was able to get him viral on social media earlier this year. As a part of Tate’s business, Hustler’s University, there is an Affiliate Program similar to a pyramid scheme. Anytime the students share clips of Tate flexing his wealth — which are meant to encourage the viewer to sign up for up for Hustler’s University for a monthly fee of $49.99 — they receive a commission. They had essentially attempted to artificially boost his content — and it worked. And now that Hustler’s University has shut down, the scam seems complete.

Why do these personalities, like Tate, have cult-like followings? Why are people willing to open their wallets to hear bad advice and dangerous rhetoric?

There is a certain allure that attracts these cults of personalities. They see Tate’s mansions and luxury cars and are told that they can be like him if they sign up for his classes. The content creators prey on their audiences’ insecurities about women, their bodies and lifestyles in order to turn a profit. It is blatant manipulation coupled with an individual’s willingness to conform to these ideologies.

The issue is clear: these alpha-male content creators promote harmful ideologies to their audiences. For example, the rate of suicide is three times higher among men than women, partially because of the assertion that men need to bottle their emotions, according to mental health center Priory. — meanwhile, these platforms assert that depression isn’t real and it’s not manly to be emotional.

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Most disturbingly, the controversial and insulting things they preach are the unspoken things that their followers wouldn’t dare say out loud, but certainly agree with. Tate is currently being investigated in Romania for human trafficking, but his followers still flock to his side in support. This is because they agree that women should be objectified and used as human incubators; they believe in traditional gender roles that promote male dominance; they believe that a man’s worth is valued by his money and physique. Ultimately, their own shortcomings and insecurities have ensured that this fantasy becomes their reality.

This is textbook toxic masculinity. The individuals that are attracted to this parasocial relationship with “alpha-male” content creators are most likely desperate and lonely, and loneliness is a sure path to hatred if left unchecked. This is the issue; this anger about their personal lives is fueled by this community of people and thus leads to resentment towards women. It’s why you hear Tate use terms such as “low value women”— it is a projection based on his personal experiences. If you strip these guys of their money, muscles and “confidence,” all that is left is a poor personality.

It is something both women and men should worry about. Younger generations are exposed to this through social media. Although Tate has been banned from these platforms, it doesn’t mean his clips aren’t still circulating and that others like him still don’t have a platform. We are witnessing a cult of pseudo-narcissists who have no chance of having a lasting relationship with a woman, and the only thing they’ll have to show for their loyalty is a 50-dollar monthly withdrawal from their bank accounts.

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