Warning over ‘Copycat Andrew Tates’ as influence grows despite being behind bars

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    Experts continue to warn of the negative effect that controversial influencer Andrew Tate is having and worry that his fan following will encourage others to replicate his misogynistic views.

    The former kickboxer is currently behind bars in Romania for suspected rape and human trafficking offences.

    Last week, Tate lost his appeal to end his detention and will now remain there until 17 February.

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    However, his incarceration has not dampened his popularity, with his active social media accounts still receiving new followers.

    After the news that his appeal had been rejected, Tate tweeted: “Even if you feel powerful every day, some days will feel more powerful than other days… Outcompete the average man’s best day on your worst.”

    The tweet stoked a large-scale response from fans, and hashtags such as #FreeTopG have continued to circulate the internet alongside conspiracy theories that include the idea that Tate isn’t even in prison at all.

    The reaction of netizens from within Tate’s online following has sparked renewed concerns from experts that young and vulnerable men will be inspired to replicate Tate’s behaviour in a move to become ‘copycat Andrew Tates’.

    Julia Ebner, counter-terrorism advisor to the UN and senior research fellow with the Institute of Strategic Dialogue told The Independent: “We’re almost in an era where the mainstreaming of extremist ideas has become easier and quicker and there is a bigger demand to fill a vacancy of frustration, anxiety, loneliness, especially among the younger generation facing this in the wake of Covid.”

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    Tate’s previous derogatory comments towards women have caused multiple women’s and children’s charities to express their concerns over the influence the former kickboxer is having on encouraging gender violence.

    In addition, questions have been raised over whether social media platforms should be doing more to moderate offensive comments, with hope that the Online Safety Bill will make necessary changes.

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