A couple of months ago no one had heard of Andrew Tate.
Yet, the once obscure-British personality is now one of the most talked about individuals on the internet.
He's also most recently found notoriety for being banned across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch and Twitter, separating him from the millions of followers he'd amassed.
So who is Tate, and what has he done to deserve his blanket social media ban?
Failed reality-TV star come self-help guru
According to the BBC, the 35-year-old former kickboxer first entered the public eye as a contestant on the reality TV show Big Brother.
However, his stint was short-lived and Tate was removed from the show after a video emerged of him appearing to abuse a woman with a belt.
The Guardian reported that Tate and the woman claimed the actions in the video were consensual.
Since that incident, Tate has gone about building an online persona of a self-help guru promising to teach males how to get rich and pick up women — which Tate refers to as "escaping the matrix" reported CNET.
He has touted his own life as proof of his methods; "I grew up broke and now I'm a multi-millionaire," wrote Tate on his personal website.
Tate's lessons are available through his online business, Hustler's University, which has about 127,000 members now paying £39 (S$63.72) a month according to The Guardian.
Here, his clientele — some as young as 13 — are exposed to lessons on topics like crypto-trading and drop shipping. Students also receive commissions for referrals.
Tate's personal brand was further amplified by the dissemination of videos — often edited from interviews and cut into bite-sized length — on social media.
These videos featured Tate's views on a range of issues in line with his persona of being a so-called alpha male: how to accrue wealth, Covid-19 restrictions and vaccines (he did not approve), Donald Trump (he does approve).
But the ones that went the most viral were videos of Tates's opinions on women.
The Guardian reported that in one video, Tate was seen describing how he expected his girlfriends to behave.
"I inflict, I expect, absolute loyalty from my woman," he said.
"I ain’t having my chicks talking to other dudes, liking other dudes. My chicks don’t go to the club without me, they are at home."
In another video, Tate explains what he would do if a girlfriend accused him of cheating: "It’s bang out the machete, boom in her face and grip her by the neck. Shut up b*tch."
According to the BBC, Tate was seen in other videos declaring that women were "intrinsically lazy" and likening them to dogs over which he would exercise authority.
Banned from social media
Such misogynistic takes eventually got Tate banned from various major social media platforms, starting with Twitter, which barred him in 2017 for, among other things, saying that female rape victims should "bear some responsibility".
At the height of his infamy, Tate was being searched on Google more than figures like Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian.
On Aug. 20, 2022, NPR reported that he had been banned from Meta's platforms, Facebook and Instagram, for violating policies regarding dangerous individuals and organisations and hate speech; he had 4.7 million followers on his Instagram account.
TikTok also banned Tate, citing the personality's "misogyny" which it branded a "hateful ideology".
Following his bans on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, Tate was further banned from YouTube for violating its policies with regard to hate speech, reported the BBC.
In a "final message" posted by Tate on Vimeo following his bans, the influencer claimed that many of his comments had been taken out of context.
Despite Tate's personal absence from the platforms, many of his videos continue to circulate due to the presence of copycat accounts.
On TikTok, one account titled "Tatesmarts" has garnered over 154,000 followers and described itself as "spreading some of Tate's wisdom".
Such was the worry about Tate's influence over young boys who might stumble upon his videos while browsing social media that several schools in Australia have sent resources to parents advising them on how to have conversations with their kids about Tate's content, reported ABC News.
"As a school we do not endorse the views of Andrew Tate and do not want to perpetuate these through the school," wrote Adelaide's Unley High School principal Greg Rolton to the families of his students.
"Please find the resources attached that we have put out to all staff to ensure they have tools to respond to such extreme views that may influence impressionable students."
Top image via cobratate Instagram account and Andrew Tate's Vimeo channel