15 January 2023

Toxic influencers like Andrew Tate another warning about the invasive pests of social media

| Ross Solly
Join the conversation
Andrew Tate being arrested

Andrew Tate being arrested in Romania on 30 December 2022. Image: Screenshot.

During the holiday break, I got caught up in a spirited conversation about a bloke who I’d never heard of but who was apparently somewhat of a legend on social media.

The discussion involved a handful of older teenage males who believed this ‘truth whisperer’ was leading the renaissance of male masculinity. On the other side of the debate were two slightly older men who believed this guy spruiked dangerous nonsense.

I had nothing to contribute to the discussion because, to the disbelief of all involved, I had never heard of this chap, much less heard anything he had to say.

READ ALSO How a Goulburn snake catcher entices his captives

Andrew Tate is this bloke’s name, and his job title is ‘influencer’. Spookily, in the days after this pre-Christmas debate, his name was making headlines everywhere. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only parent frantically googling who he was and what was his modus operandi.

The reason he was in the news raised enough alarm bells already.

He was arrested in Romania on charges of forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women. Turns out he is also a confessed misogynist who also engages in hate speech and has been banned from all major social media platforms.

So not the sort of bloke you want your kids, especially your young boys, listening to. Except it appears they do. I spoke to a teacher who told me his year six students regularly talk about Andrew Tate.

Gobsmacked that all of this was happening without my knowledge, I made enquiries of young men I knew, and they all confirmed they were well aware of Andrew Tate and what he stood for. Some of them told me they didn’t believe everything he said, but he did make some good points about certain stuff.

I don’t admit to being the most switched-on dude around, but I read several newspapers and listen to many news bulletins daily. I feel somewhat concerned. I had no idea this bloke was so influential and was being watched by so many young people.

If this is an example of what our kids watch on social media and the internet, then we are in serious trouble. I have no idea how we monitor what they are soaking up, outside of looking over their shoulders. Good luck with that.

READ ALSO More weather protection, green space for Woden CIT as DA lodged

How can we provide counterarguments to what they are watching if we don’t know what they are absorbing? Can we even police this sort of stuff? As I said, most mainstream social media platforms had banned Tate, but his material was still out there. Let’s be honest, our kids are far more switched on than we are when it comes to social media.

In recent days violent protesters stormed Brazil’s parliament and supreme court buildings claiming the recent election, which saw the right-wing government Jair Bolsonaro kicked to the kerb, was rigged. Their source? Social media.

The Brazilian Government pleaded with social media platforms to take down material promoting these falsehoods and videos promoting violence. The pleas were largely ignored.

I know I sound like a grumpy old man railing against something I don’t understand, but I don’t like where we’re at and where we are heading.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Never heard of the dude other than in passing.
Is this anything like the red pill movie where everyone commented on what they thought the movie was about, but then no commentator had actually seen it?

Most of these posts are about ‘toxic masculinity.’ Yet the same people believe a man needs to jump in front of an armed offender and save all women at their own danger.

You talk about examples but provide none…

“I don’t admit to being the most switched-on dude around, but I read several newspapers and listen to many news bulletins daily.”

Ok, who’s going to tell Ross about chatgpt

The most important thing we can teach young people these days is how to work out fact from fiction, (alternate truth), for themselves.

Another ,all too common these days, cowardly cretin!

devils_advocate1:37 pm 15 Jan 23

I have no idea who this Tate fellow is but after having read this article I guess I’ll have to see for myself. Who knows maybe he has some interesting ideas. One thing’s for sure, without articles like these I would have been completely unaware of his existence!

I’m not influenced by any of these mugs

Capital Retro11:23 am 15 Jan 23

I’m noting that the forum you are using to convey the warning you perceive is also social media.

Except it isn’t.

If this was, then regular users such as you and I would be able to post stories or articles on this site for others to read and comment on.

A comments section doesn’t equal a social media, in the context you’re using the term.

Except it isn’t. A comments section doesn’t equal a social media, at least not in the context of “social media” being discussed here.

The rise of people like Tate & other right wing nutters is facilitated by some of the extreme leftists promoting cancel culture, critical race theory & extreme transgender views.

This has caused a backlas & pushed many moderate people further to the right.

So your views are made more extreme when people disagree with you?

These people chose their views. They weren’t forced to think or say anything just because of what someone else said.

Balance needed3:19 pm 15 Jan 23

Agree entirely

By your same logic then rise of lefties will be greater, facilitated by idiots on the right like Tate. Especially for women, as Tate is repulsive.

devils_advocate9:18 am 16 Jan 23

@paul13 yes it’s reasonably well documented in small groups, called the “group polarisation” effect, in several behavioural studies.

Whoever made up the term “influencer” needs to be ashamed of themselves.

Social media companies need to grow a pair and start applying a moral compass to avoid younger generations from being steered in the wrong direction.

Having said that, mainstream media also needs a shakeup. Too often, news reporting has an angle rather than just being the facts.

Capital Retro2:55 pm 15 Jan 23

You are referring to more opinion than news. The ABC is a cut above the others as it has “analysis” instead of opinion.

Whose moral compass should we use and who is the arbiter of the wrong direction?

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.