Social media posts by Andrew Tate could serve as a “gateway drug” to children who go on to view more damaging content, teachers have warned.
At one school the head of performing arts Matt Adams decided to hold “Andrew Tate assemblies” due to fears over what pupils interested in the influencer are exposed to online.
Mr Adams teaches at a west London school, and toldThe Independent boys he had spoken to would either support Tate outright, make excuses for him or claim he had been misquoted.
“It is concerning how much Tate’s supporters will take his word as gospel, and not do any research before regurgitating it back out into the world,” Mr Adams said. “Tate’s speeches not only scream of toxic masculinity, misogyny and victim blaming, but they express a deep lack of care for other people as human beings.”
“This lifestyle appeals to young men, and the message is that they must be just like him to reach it. One teacher told me a student had said that Tate was “correct” regarding his distrust in government and taxes, so “the other stuff must be right”.
He is not the only educator who is concerned about the influence of Tate, who has enjoyed millions of followers across social media and once said women should “bare some responsibility” for their own rape.
The British-American former kickboxer, 36, has gained notoriety over the years by promoting an ultra-masculine, ultra-luxurious lifestyle online. Prior to being banned from Instagram he had a following of 4.6 million and the hashtag #AndrewTate has accumulated more than 12 billion views on TikTok.
Matthew Simpson, a 28-year-old teacher working at a secondary school in Bristol, says students are being exposed to Tate’s content in “out of context” memes online.
“The most popular one currently is about the colour of Andrew Tate’s Bugatti [it is brown],” Mr Simpson told The Independent.
“Students don’t understand the full picture of his views and prejudices and will happily quote him.
“But then when challenged they will be entirely ignorant of the fact that the man with the brown Bugatti espouses vile misogyny daily to his millions of followers.
“The concern is that these bite-size chunks of content could also act as a gateway drug, into his longer more damaging content.”
Tate is currently detained in Romania on human trafficking and rape charges, which he denies.
Tate first joined Twitter in 2011, but was banned in 2017 for violating its terms of service with tweets he wrote about violence against women. He has since been reinstated on the platform but is currently detained in Romania after a judge extended his custody period to 30 days.
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the ASCL teachers’ union, said leaders plan to discuss Mr Tate’s influence at their next general meeting.
“There is a lot of concern among many school and college leaders about the vile misogynistic material propagated by Andrew Tate and the influence this has on impressionable boys,” he said.
“Most boys are respectful of young women, but unfortunately some are taken in by the nonsense spouted by this individual, and this is a huge concern for educators and for society in general.”
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