Andrew Tate: The Snake Who Had to “Die”
Published Sept. 19, 2022, at 4:44p.m.
by Abby Walsh.
“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die.”
Following a wave of controversy and negative publicity, social media personality Andrew Tate, known as @cobratate, has been banned from numerous social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and TikTok.
The former boxer rose to notoriety after clips of him making misogynistic remarks during interviews and other public appearances went viral on TikTok. In an interview with Barstool Sports, Tate said, “[In marriage] the woman is given to the man and belongs to him,” and “Female promiscuity has always been disgusted and frowned upon.” These comments merely scratch the surface of the offensive language he has used toward women.
Prior to losing his accounts, Tate’s following on Instagram tripled from 1.7 million to 4.6 million between July and August of this year.
Supporters of Tate argue that banning him across various platforms violates his First Amendment protections, particularly the freedom of speech. This criticism echoes a common misconception that many Americans have regarding the First Amendment. The government is the only entity that cannot directly “censor,” or suppress, the speech of people, which does not extend to social media companies and other privately owned bodies. Therefore, private entities may censor speech that violates their policies. For example, a representative from TikTok stated, “Misogyny is a hateful ideology that is not tolerated on TikTok.”
Tate’s ban from nearly all major platforms raises questions of celebrity influence and ownership of the media, and the proliferation of hate speech to young, impressionable audiences. Would these platforms have disabled his accounts had Tate not received such intense notoriety and backlash?
The prevalence of social media within the last decade has undoubtedly influenced the public perception of certain companies. With more and more users populating the internet, many of them being younger audiences, it is imperative that companies be mindful of what speech they allow on their platforms.
In fact, Facebook has come under fire numerous times for not removing hate speech on its site. In 2020, the company extended its policy to censor speech that “denies or distorts the Holocaust.”
Another public figure who is no stranger to controversy, Elon Musk, offered to purchase Twitter for $44 billion earlier this year. Twitter accepted his offer despite Musk’s own complex history on its platform, on which he has shared his own misogynistic commentary. Should the deal go through, the Tesla CEO said he would
reverse Twitter’s suspension of Donald Trump, whose own account was banned after a series of tweets following the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Tate has claimed that he was wrongfully removed from the social media sites, and his comments were “taken out of context.” He shut down his own website, Hustler’s University, where users could purchase courses led by Tate on how to make money and “escape the matrix.”
Hopefully, the response toward Andrew Tate from these large social media corporations will deter others from sharing their harmful ideologies.