It’s easy to dismiss “incels”. Your insistence on lurking in some godforsaken corner of the internet, muttering about the horrors of feminism, left-wing politics, and those horrible, haughty women who refuse to be submissive wifes and baby machines is not a good way to make friends Find.
o Why did Andrew Tate have millions of followers before he was banned from Facebook, Instagram and TikTok?
The simple answer is that Tate is not an incel. After all, he had a girlfriend and is a successful athlete. Scratch the surface, however, and the typical incel traits of a deep-seated disdain for women and far-right sympathy are clearly evident. The only real difference seems to be an understanding of algorithms and an inflated ego.
Algorithms seem complicated, but how they work is simple. The more people share a post, the more popular it seems to be and the more the algorithm recommends it to everyone. Great if you want your little dance to go viral on TikTok, less impressive if you’re posting misogynistic extremist rants with the intention of radicalizing young men.
As we saw in the Amber Heard/Johnny Depp trial, TikTok and Instagram have a huge misogyny problem. For over a month, hilarious dances and “comedy skits” drove the algorithm to fuel hundreds of people who made fun of someone who claimed to be a victim of domestic violence and joked about their alleged rape using far-right hashtags.
Tate’s company Hustlers University (HU) went one step further. Marketed as a way for Tate wannabes to become just like him, HU was essentially an algorithm-manipulating pyramid scheme. As with other MLMs, his followers paid for the privilege of selling Tate’s products. Even.
To make money, they had to repost clips of his videos using certain hashtags on as many sites as possible. When they earned a bonus, Tate gained traction. To date, he has garnered 12.7 billion TikTok views. Since his ban, the “university” has gone out of business, but there are hundreds of other, similar accounts ready to take his place.
“Trad Wives” form the female side of the equation; Women in their late teens and early twenties who have embraced the traditional housewife lifestyle, exemplified by expertly filtered images of their babies and baking skills, have been all over social media for years.
Simply summarize your choices as yet another lifestyle choice, peel away those expertly applied layers of primer and it’s clear that for many it’s less Home & Hearth and more kids, church, kitchen. They promote their content with #NotAllMen and #MAGA hashtags while claiming to hate the blue-haired pro-choice feminists they were “before they came of age” (a full 18 months earlier in some cases), and they are acceptable face of them is a dream that white nationalists have been trying to sell for decades.
Based on the idea that whites will be a minority by 2066, from an article by Prof David Coleman of the Tufton Street think tank Immigration Watch and the Eugenics Society, the traditional lifestyle is seen as the best way to get around the western world to repopulate white families and undo the “damage” done by these evil feminists who are clearly responsible for everything from the fragile male ego to immigration.
Tiny housewives, incels in disguise and alt-right edgelords may not look like a serious threat, but as both the US and UK continue to pivot to the right, their messages are far more ambitious than those of the “Muslim ray gun” far-right activists mutter the past. With bright smiles and polished pecs, they are the perfect poster child for those working to push back women’s and minority rights and convince us that it’s for adults.
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For the far-right, who want to radicalize a new generation, it has become the central motif of their campaign and social media their preferred platform. Whether you post for or against Andrew Tate, you share his content and millions of young people see it. If you condemn far-right content, also share it with people who may not have been exposed to those ideas.
To fix this, we must go against our nature. Our continued presence on social media is based on voicing our views at every opportunity. The algorithms can’t distinguish between good and bad content, just as they can’t tell if you’re reposting with approval or with the burning hatred of a hundred suns. Every time you merge, share, and repost to highlight fascism, you raise their profile along with your own.
Of course, we cannot just sit back and ignore such content; As Hope Not Hate pointed out in their report last week, Tate’s far-right connections run deeper than a few jittery comments on TikTok. What we need to do is get smarter about reporting and highlighting far-right content without enhancing it. And platforms must take responsibility for the content they promote and put user well-being ahead of profit.
https://www.independent.ie/life/andrew-tates-social-media-showed-how-the-far-right-plan-to-draw-in-a-new-generation-41930816.html Andrew Tate’s social media showed how the far right plans to attract a new generation