I’m sure by now we have all heard the name Andrew Tate, and we all understandably have our own thoughts on him. Some think that he is a positive influencer who is inspiring young men to be successful, some other people (myself included) think that he is an egotistical narcissist who is inspiring toxic masculinity and extremist ideological behavior's. I’m not here to discuss whether he is innocent or guilty in the eyes of the law, that is not my job. Instead, I am here to speak about why he is a danger, and why we need to be mindful in future of who is influencing people on social media.
Andrew Tate became widely popular in 2022, when he started appearing on social media channels, in interviews spewing inappropriate and often extremist dialogues to millions of people. His controversial remarks meant that he became popular, even if the majority disagreed with what he was saying, he still managed to attain significant influence because of his content being shared widely. Whether he actually believes what he says is another story, but what I see is someone band wagoning off of vulnerable and disenfranchised young men. The danger comes from not necessarily who he is, but what he says and how he presents himself as the true definition of a successful man. Young men especially can be influenced by his toxic messages, as he is rich, has nice cars and is often within the company of beautiful women. Understandably, to a lot of men he can be seen as something of an inspiration, as he is successful and not afraid to speak about what me wants. The worry is that his dialogue may lead to extremist mentalities for young men, they may go onto become misogynists, or may simply have their identity molded around toxic expectations.
Andrew Tate reinforces toxic masculinity and poses a challenge for countering his mass appeal, with him saying things like “I’m not a rapist, but I like the idea of being able to do what I want. I like being free”. Now I for one have no clue how being free and being a rapist correlate, but as you can see, are these the type of things we want to see on our social media feed, influencing young adults and even children? We need to be mindful now more than ever of influencers, especially within our digital society, where these influencers have the ability for 24/7 mass appeal. I’m not saying that we need to worry about all influencers, but rather those that are promoting controversial and/or extremist ideologies. I’m all for freedom of speech, but in all honesty, I am surprised we even let Andrew Tate get this far and part of me is disappointed that more was not done to get him out of the spotlight. We as a society need to learn from Andrew Tate, he is the perfect case study of the effects of modern-day influence. We have a right to free speech, but we DO NOT have a right to promote and inspire hostility.