Deputy Editor, Jackson Robb, details the recent arrest of Andrew Tate, stressing the importance of critical evaluation in our interaction with social media.
TW: Rape, Sexual Assault
In the last days of 2022, infamous influencer and former kickboxer, Andrew Tate, was seized with several of his accomplices by Romanian authorities and arrested under charges of human trafficking, rape and forming an organized crime group.  Tate, infamous for his controversial views on women and men’s role in society, has previously gained traction across various social media platforms. From his time as a contestant on Big Brother in 2016, where he was allegedly removed on assault charges, to his fights against trolls where he boasts his excessive displays of wealth.  However, Tate rose to viral success in 2022 when his videos started becoming highly viewed on TikTok, with clips of his ‘41 Tenets’ surpassing 10 million views and becoming adopted by mass amounts of users, particularly young men and boys.
To Tate’s credit, his Tenets highlight particular issues facing young boys and men in society, including mental health and self esteem concerns, however, he fills these gaps with blatant misogynistic rhetoric, suggesting men are responsible for becoming the masculine, wealthy and physically dominant whilst women are to dismiss any agency they possess in their mission to become loving wives and mothers. Tate also commented that women who have been sexually assaulted should “bear some responsibility”, a view that is deeply troubling and resulted in him being banned from Twitter.  However, during the Musk administration of Twitter, Tate has since returned to the platform, with his latest target being the young climate activist, Greta Thunberg.
Tate tweeted Thunberg, bragging of his many cars and their various emissions, including the capacity of his Bugatti and Ferrari’s, prompting her to provide an email address he can use to send her “a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions”. The very nature of a 36-year-old man challenging a 19-year-old on social media presents troubling concerns, but Thunberg was quick to respond, inflicting the charm only a Gen Z can, replying:
Thunberg’s tweet quickly became a viral hit and has since become the fourth most liked tweet in history.  Not long afterwards however, Tate responded to the tweet with a defensive video that commented on Thunberg’s appearance, gender and ultimately denying the existence of climate change, all whilst continuously failing to quote the tweet accurately. Tate includes in the video “please bring me pizza, and make sure these boxes are not recycled”. Two days later, he was arrested.
Speculation online suggested that the pizza Tate used to taunt Thunberg was a tip to authorities that confirmed Tate’s presence in Romania, however the anti-organised crime unit has since disproven this.  Further details of the arrest have not yet been made public, however several of his vehicles have since been seized as part of the investigation. 
Tate and his accomplices are set to go to trial towards the end of January, however he remains present on Twitter and encourages his followers not to believe the media of the matrix. Many of Tate’s followers began to spread a narrative that he has since been released, using old footage from videos to suggest he was set free, a case study in misinformation. Tate and his followers demonstrate a concerning reality on social media of how information is received and misinterpreted, further encouraging the need for accurate and reliable sources. As new information comes to light over the coming months, ensure you are reading from reliable outlets and take the advice of Ms. Thunberg, and recycle your pizza boxes. 
 “Andrew Tate Detained in Romania on Organised Crime and Rape Charges.” The Guardian, 22 Dec 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/ dec/30/andrew-tate-detained-in-romania-on-organised-and-charges.
 Das, Shanti. “Inside the Violent, Misogynistic World of Tiktok’s New Star, Andrew Tate. The Guardian, 6 Aug 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/aug/06/andrew-tate-violent-misogynistic-world-of-tiktok-new-star.
 “Andrew Tate Detained in Romania over Human Trafficking Case. (2022). BBC News, 30 Dec 2022, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-64122628.
 ”Most Retweeted Posts of All Time 2020.” Statista, n.d, https://www.statista.com/statistics/699462/twitter-most-retweeted-posts-all-time/.
 Media, P.A. “Andrew Tate arrest: Romanian Authorities Seize Four More Luxury Cars.” The Guardian, 6 Jan 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/ jan/06/andrew-tate-arrest-romanian-authorities-seize-four-more-luxury-cars.
 Twitter, n.d., https://twitter.com/gretathunberg/status/1608735970131849217.