In the last week, misogynist influencer Andrew Tate was banned from Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok — but BuzzFeed News is now the first to report that social media companies have for months been slowly and quietly removing content that shows popular appearances by him and other anti-feminist influencers from their platforms.
Several weeks ago, Snapchat removed a channel posing as Tate, which was posting compilation clips of him from different podcast appearances and had over 280,000 followers. (Tate has never used the app, his brother Tristan Tate told BuzzFeed News.)
A spokesperson for the app confirmed the removal, telling BuzzFeed News that a few weeks ago, “we suspended a Discover show featuring videos of Andrew Tate that violated our guidelines.”
Reddit has taken down three subreddits devoted to Fresh&Fit, a podcast hosted by Tate’s friends Walter Weekes and Myron Gaines, for promoting hate.
TikTok recently removed two accounts run by the Fresh&Fit podcast for violating community guidelines. And a spokesperson for Pinterest on Friday, citing "strong policies against hateful, harassing, and violent content," said that starting this week members will no longer receive notifications containing Tate’s name, nor will the platform show it as an autocomplete suggestion in search.
As Tate’s infamy grew in recent weeks and he was banned from multiple platforms, videos of his appearance on Fresh&Fit have been shared frequently. The podcast’s official Instagram account shared a post of Tate posing with Gaines with the caption: “We all know this is not the end of Top G🔥🔥🔥🔥.”
Tate, a 35-year-old former Big Brother contestant turned “success coach,” has become one of the most-talked-about figures online for peddling misogyny to young men.
“I don't think that social media, tech companies implementing guidelines this or that way, is the end-all-be-all of how we fix this,” said Matt Bernstein, the creator of the viral Instagram post that quoted some of Tate’s worst comments and warned of his influence.
“This is a problem on a societal level that we have to deal with, yes, in social media regulation, but also in healthy parenting and healthy friendships between men,” he told BuzzFeed News.
Tate’s social media bans have been a reckoning for misogynist male podcasters who often speak of themselves as alpha males and make derogatory comments about women. Bernstein had “no idea whatsoever” what impact his viral post would have. His post has been liked over 1.4 million times, and the first wave of social media bans began just days after it was uploaded.
Bernstein, a 23-year-old based in New York who routinely posts political commentary online, received an onslaught of anti-gay abuse from Tate fans who believed he was largely responsible for the former kickboxer being deplatformed by various social media sites. He described seeing Tate’s content and instinctively recognizing the danger he presented.
“It's an enormous massive group of people — mostly young, disgruntled straight men — who are at war with their own masculinity and what it means to be growing up as a young man and they're looking for a way to make sense of it,” Bernstein said.
And Tate is just one of the influencers that this audience listens to. His mates Gaines and Weekes, whose podcast inspired a series of parodies, have been quietly banned across various platforms for months despite their protest and attempts to return.
At least two TikTok accounts run by the podcast, @FreshandFitUK and @FreshnFit, have been banned for violating community guidelines. The podcast discusses heterosexual men dating women and gives sexist advice, calls men physically superior to women, and insults women who have had sex with multiple men.
“We define hate speech or behavior as content that attacks, threatens, incites violence against, or otherwise dehumanizes an individual or a group,” the TikTok community guidelines state, listing sex and gender as two of its protected classes.
A spokesperson for Reddit confirmed that the podcast had been banned on the platform for violating its rule against promoting hate. But in a YouTube episode published on Thursday discussing Tate’s removal, Gaines announced that fans could expect a new subreddit, a breach of the platform’s content policy, which prohibits ban evasion.
“It’s up right now, it’s r/FreshAndFitOfficial. This is our third Reddit because our other ones keep getting banned,” Gaines said. “This one we’re going to be managing and making sure it doesn’t get fucked up.”
By Friday, the new subreddit was removed. According to a Reddit spokesperson, the platform was prepared to remove communities created to replace any that had been previously banned.
The company said that no communities specifically relating to Tate had been taken down but that the situation was being monitored.
Responding to his removal from Instagram, Tate accused the platform of “bowing to pressure” and blamed “internet sensationalism” for portraying him as misogynist. He insisted that he loved women and considered his mom “his hero.”