Although TikTok promised to remove video duplicates of bigoted social media influencer Andrew Tate, massive fan accounts continue to repost and spread his hateful content.
Tate is known for his heinous misogyny, including saying that women who are sexually assaulted should “bear responsibility” and describing himself as “absolutely a misogynist.” His content has spread on social media, leading Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to permanently ban him. TikTok also pledged to remove duplicates of Tate’s videos, but Media Matters found multiple fan accounts dedicated to Tate that repost his misogynistic content on the platform.
For example, fan account @thetatespeech, which has over 88,000 followers and more than 3.7 million likes, uploaded a clip of Tate claiming that “18- and 19-year-olds are more attractive than 25-year-olds because they’ve been through less dick.”
The accounts often self-identify as Tate fan pages and upload clips of him for their tens or even hundreds of thousands of followers. One such fan account, @tates.unfiltered, has over 126,000 followers and over 2.1 million likes on its videos.
Despite TikTok's promise to remove his content, it is clear that the company has yet to do the bare minimum, as finding the fan accounts is as simple as searching for “Andrew Tate” under TikTok’s “users” tab. The first results are fan accounts that upload his content.
Proactively removing duplicate videos is far more complicated than simply banning an influencer, and TikTok has previously failed at the task. In April 2021, Media Matters found that far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones regularly went viral on TikTok because of fan accounts uploading his content — even though Jones himself had been banned from TikTok.
Now, TikTok is garnering positive PR with promises of change without actually enforcing its own rules. In fact, content on Tate’s fan pages appears to have violated TikTok’s community guidelines against hateful behavior prior to the outright ban of Tate's content, warranting their removal even before the new policy.