OPINION: Social media put blatant misogyny in our faces, and it will happen again

Myles Arnott, Opinion Writer

In today’s age where TikTok dominates social media, it’s hard not to see what’s popular on the app. You can go on TikTok for five minutes and see a dozen unique videos from different cultures, with every video having over one million views. Anything you think of has a community on TikTok. But TikTok can also platform anybody. The most recent viral TikTok figure is one that many people have heard of, Andrew Tate.

Out of nowhere, Tate rose to the top of Tiktok’s analytics. According to the Guardian, Tate’s name was searched on Google more times than Donald Trump’s in July. If you’re like me, this newfound fame is the first time you’d heard of Andrew Tate. He’s a former British kickboxer who now offers a “self-help” course online. The course is called “Hustler’s University,” and it claims to provide lessons on how to make massive amounts of money online. You need to pay $50 a month to see what the course offers.

The reason Tate has become so popular is due to the wildly misogynistic ideas he puts online. Tate himself doesn’t even make the videos that show up on TikTok and YouTube. He’s long banned from Twitter, rightfully so. In 2017, he tweeted that women who have been sexually assaulted have a responsibility to bear because he thinks they were “in a position” to be attacked. This tweet alone should be enough for every social media platform to have this guy on its radar.

Tate has several other disgusting controversies around him. He was on the cast of a reality TV show called “Big Brother” briefly but got kicked off after a video of him beating a woman with a belt surfaced. He had a house in Romania raided based on human trafficking and kidnapping charges, as well.

But it was only in August of 2022 when Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, banned Tate from its platforms. It was only after he netted 11 billion views on TikTok and four million followers on Instagram that the misogynist was de-platformed. Why did it take this long to have Tate’s consistently alarming presence dealt with? At the point where he was banned, he had already left his mark on the internet forever. Even after his official TikTok page got banned, one search of his name brings up thousands of videos from other people’s uploads of him spouting the same misogynistic garbage.

The fact that it took so long for Tate to be de-platformed from our most popular social media platforms leaves me with little hope for the future. What is stopping another person from becoming the next Andrew Tate? He gained popularity almost immediately, which is sure to encourage someone with similar views to try the same rise. And even if they do get banned, they’ll probably still have thousands of their videos out on the internet for anyone to view, just like Tate on TikTok. There will be another person like Tate to spew such toxic ideals onto our youth through social media. We need social media sites to have more immediate reactions to the influencers that get enabled.

Myles Arnott is an opinion writer. Contact him at [email protected].