How To Spot An Andrew Tate Follower

Have you ever been contacted by a man with an Instagram account with just a few photos of himself posing with a sports car that you know he can’t afford?

Before misogynist influencer Andrew Tate was deplatformed from Instagram, curious women could click on his profile to see which men in their lives were part of his growing fandom. And while that’s no longer an option, Tate’s impact persists. 

The former kickboxer is one of the most influential men on the internet and has built his name — and assembled a massive online army of men — by spouting extreme misogynistic views. He has said that women are the property of men, women are unable to be successful without a man’s help, and women bear responsibility if they are raped. 

Tate and his brother Tristan are currently being held in pre-trial detention in Bucharest, Romania, while they are under investigation for human trafficking, rape, and organized crime. They were arrested along with two Romanian women, and authorities have accused the group of sexually exploiting six women. (One of the Romanian women arrested with Tate is Georgiana Naghel, who is believed to be in a romantic relationship with him.) While the general public had only heard of Tate after his December arrest, his toxic influence on how men interact with women has been growing over the last several years.

Have you ever been contacted by a man with an Instagram account with just a few photos of himself posing with a sports car that you know he can’t afford? Or have there been messages in your Instagram requests folder from accounts that only have one photo of a man scowling with his mouth closed? Or maybe a friend has shared a screenshot of a man with a similar profile who DMed them a random emoji out of the blue? If so, he may have been following the teachings of Tate. 

Both brothers are being accused of using the “loverboy method” to ensnare the women they are accused of trafficking. The method, in which a perpetrator initiates a sham romantic relationship with a vulnerable person in order to trap and sexually exploit them, has become more prevalent in the age of dating apps and social media. And while the Instagram tactics outlined above aren’t necessarily the “loverboy method,” they are based off of a course Tate made to help men convince women to sleep with them.

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BuzzFeed News purchased Tate’s now-deleted Pimpin’ Hoes Degree (PHD) video course, which he launched on his website in 2018 and removed in 2022. In it, the influencer offers step-by-step instructions on how to build an Instagram account to contact women and have sex with as many of them as possible. Or, as Tate calls it, how men can go from having no access to women to becoming a player. 

The $450 course was one of many of the former kickboxer’s business ventures meant to help turn men into entrepreneurs and “Top Gs.” Other deleted courses, some of which were available on Etsy through resellers, were all aimed at some form of male “self-improvement,” such as fitness programs designed to get you in shape, a body language course with elaborate rules to help you become an “alpha male,” and a course that instructed viewers about how they could make money on OnlyFans by using women as sex workers for their own financial gain. In the PHD course, Tate even suggests using women from these relationships to set up a webcam business, which was reportedly a part of his alleged sex trafficking scheme. 

Etsy said the listing of Tate's videos and courses purchased by BuzzFeed News had been taken down after we flagged them "because the listings violated our seller policies."

On multiple podcasts, Tate has spoken openly about convincing his girlfriends to do sex work for his webcam business and on OnlyFans, and he has proudly labeled himself “a pimp.” In a deleted course focused on how to make money from OnlyFans, Tate talks about how he doesn’t allow his “girls” to have access to their own accounts until he trusts them.  

“Before you know it, you're a G sitting there with your phone pimpin’ dudes, making money off girls,” Tate says. Later in the video, he is joined by Vivian, an ex-girlfriend who was featured in a sex tape video with Tate, to talk about the rates she charges on the platform.  

In the PHD course, Tate identifies Instagram as “the number one tool to get laid” over Tinder or any other dating app. He also lists out what he believes made a “manly” Instagram profile, such as never having any other men in the photos unless they look “hard,” only having hot women in photos, not posting too many photos because that’s what women do, and never taking photos with your mouth open. (Tate believes posing with your mouth open is “a sign of submission” and is done by “liberals.”) So if you see a profile where a man has his mouth closed and appears angry for no apparent reason, he could have been taking cues from Tate’s courses.  

Tate even suggests that if a man doesn’t actually have money or a tough, muscled look for their profile, he should hire a professional photographer to stage a shoot, which should include photos of expensive travel and rented exotic cars. “What I try and do with every single post is [create] a degree of intrigue,” Tate says. “Don’t be afraid to put a spin on your shit.” Tate also implores students to “take loads of photos next to rocks and oceans and bullshit.”  

While Tate calls manosphere and redpill culture “bullshit,” he still leans on old manosphere theories like the world being a “sexual marketplace” that is “extremely difficult for men.” A lot of the social media strategy Tate taught in his PHD course also recycles the stereotype that women are only impressed by men with money and status and that “women are biologically programmed” to go after these so-called alpha males. 

But while he is intent on teaching men how to portray these cliches to capture as many women as possible, he said in the PHD course he doesn’t necessarily align himself with the manosphere belief that “women need to be fixed.” He just thinks men should be more opportunistic so they can make the dating world work for them: “If you’re in the wrong place, you don’t have enough women. If you’re in the right place, you have too many women.” 

Tate frames himself as a kind of guru for the lost and hopeless men trapped in the online sexual marketplace. Why write, “Hey, how are you?” to a stranger, he asks. “Why would she give a shit about telling you how she is? She knows you don’t care. And she gets that 30 times a day. So she doesn’t care.” 

Instead, in his course, he frames his advice as helping men become intriguing and a “higher-value person.” One method he suggests? Lying about your job. 

In one example, Tate lays out a scenario where a woman asks a man what they do. Instead of telling her he’s a barista at Starbucks, Tate suggests saying he used to be high-level management at Starbucks. Be vague. Lay on the intrigue. “You’re now James Bond of Starbucks. You were a barista loser. Now you’re James Bond,” he says.

He also encourages them to DM as many women as possible. “You can go on Instagram right now and message 100 girls. There are gonna be loads of conversations at once,” Tate says. He suggests adding a random, meaningless emoji as a way of standing out from the other messages they may get throughout the day.

“I just say Bucharest? or Moscow? or LA? sometimes,” Tate says. “I’ll put a completely pointless emoji on the end. Some cherries, or an orange or a strawberry.” 

Tate himself has used this specific emoji method before. A TikToker posted a screenshot of a DM she said came from Tate with the word “London? 🌹”. And Daria Gușă, a now-19-year-old student, told BuzzFeed News that she received a DM from Tate’s personal Instagram account when she was 16 years old that read: “Romanian girl 🍓.” 

Gușă said she did not reply to Tate because he had a bad reputation in Romania, but she told BuzzFeed News that he also DMed some of her friends, who did respond. “After a couple of messages, he will start asking where they are and when he can come pick them up,” she said. 

In the Q&A portion of the course, where Tate plays more into his role as a misogynistic self-help guru, he is asked by a man how he maintains multiple relationships with women and if he should be honest about it. Tate not only suggests hiding it, but also gaslighting their partners if they ask any questions. 

He goes on to say that just the night before he filmed the video, one of his “girls” found hair in bed that didn’t belong to her and questioned him about it. Tate says he told her that he didn’t know where it came from and that she was being “juvenile.”

 Tate then tells the story of a woman he was seeing in Slovakia who moved to England to work for him when he wanted to start up his webcam company. He suggests viewers start their own porn business, using webcams, when they have a couple women in love with them, as it is, he says, “free money.” 

Tate even goes as far as suggesting men conduct a test for “a quality woman.” He tells them not to contact her after having sex to see if she’ll reach out first, because now the man is “in a position of power.” Tate believes that if a woman ends up contacting a man after sleeping with him, she has “humbled” herself and will be “fiercely loyal” to him.

Through Tate’s courses and misogynistic rhetoric, not only is he helping men groom and sexualize women, but he’s also normalized a toxic dating culture that has had a profoundly negative impact on how men treat women. And though the courses have been removed from his website, fans are still passing clips around on Google Drive and reselling copies of his deleted courses — ensuring even more women will be played.

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