Andrew Tate, the anti-feminist influencer with a reputation for hating women, smoking enormous cigars all the time, and claiming to punch a piece of wood 1,000 times a day, was banned from Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, and YouTube last August for hate speech; he was then arrested in December and charged with various crimes in relation to an alleged sex-trafficking operation, including rape. (Tate has insisted he’s innocent.) Weirdly, he has not really gone away. Teachers are still worried about the influence his horrible ideas about women-as-property are having on teenage boys. And his face is still all over the internet, because his fans (and some detractors) simply keep re-uploading it, over and over.
In particular, users of YouTube’s new-ish short-form video service (obviously built to compete with TikTok) say they haven’t been able to get away from Tate. Although YouTube doesn’t allow users to repost old videos from Tate’s banned channel, people are free to share clips of him from other sources. On Reddit, you can scroll through many versions of the same question: “Is there any way to stop seeing any Andrew Tate content?” You might find some commiseration (“every other clip is one from this moron”), but you won’t find many satisfying answers. Many of the people posting about Tate’s ability to lurk in the YouTube Shorts feed claim they are not doing anything that would indicate they are interested in seeing him. (“Most of the things I watch on YouTube are related to music production, digital painting, some fashion history, asmr and light content to relax,” one Reddit commenter wrote, perplexed.) Others said they are giving explicit feedback that seems to be ignored: “I press ‘do not recommend’ every time I get his content recommended but nothing works. Do I just need to stay off social media until he dies?”