Monday 8 August 2022 05:19 PM MPs demand TikTok remove clips amid fury over 'rape culture' videos posted by ... trends now
MPs have today blasted TikTok's lack of action on an outspoken influencer and former Big Brother star who was accused of spreading misogynistic 'rape culture' content to boys as young as 13 on the Chinese-run platform.
Andrew Tate, 35, is the self-described 'king of toxic masculinity' who has used his outspoken social media persona to amass multi-million pound wealth and an army of social media acolytes that hang on his every word.
The former Big Brother contestant's career has been mired in controversy, with accusations of misogyny, racism and human trafficking cropping up throughout his six years in the limelight.
Despite a successful kickboxing career that saw him win two international titles, Tate's spectacular rise to fame has been linked to the proliferation of British teenagers using the Chinese video sharing platform TikTok.
With more than 11billion views across the platform, children as young as 13 are exposed to the ravings of a man who once told rape victims to 'bear responsibility', belittled those who suffered with depression and played out how he would choke a woman with a machete if she cheated on him.
Leading domestic abuse charities have warned such content is extremely misogynistic and has the potential to radicalise men to bring harm to the real world in the future.
Today, former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith warned the Chinese video-sharing app was more 'interested in data harvesting than protecting our children' from harmful online content.
He told MailOnline: 'This is yet another example that demonstrates how poor TikTok truly is. A person like this should have no space on social media.
'TikTok – which has suspect links to security services in China - is more interested in data harvesting than protecting our children.
‘Parents must be made more aware of the dangers of their children using this app, which is targeting kids and their data which in the future can be harvested by a foreign power ill-disposed to the UK and what we believe in’.
Andrew Bridgen, MP for North West Leicestershire, told MailOnline the Chinese video sharing app should take responsibility for videos on its platform and had a duty of care to take harmful content down as soon as possible.
He added: 'It’s highly irresponsible of TikTok to keep videos like this up for young people to see.
'We know that TikTok can have a great influence on young minds, and it’s clearly a popular part of the online world. It’s worrying that messaging like this can be seen by so many people’.
Outspoken TikTok influencer Andrew Tate, 35, who shot to fame for his outlandish views and once starred on Big Brother has been accused of spreading misogynistic content to audiences as young as 13
British-American kickboxer Andrew Tate, 35, came from humble beginnings when he was raised on an estate in Luton as the son of a catering assistant and an American chess master
Tate hit the headlines again when he was kicked out of the Big Brother house in 2016 over a video that showed him hitting a woman with a belt
Fears have been raised that ByteDance, a Chinese company that runs TikTok, could be in position to one day send user data to the country's ruling Communist regime - something the firm strenuously denies. [File image]
Historic tweets by Tate were unearthed depicting allegedly abusive messages he sent to singer Cheryl regarding her marriage to footballer Ashley Cole.
In one message he refers to Cheryl and her former husband as 'massive w*g sockets,' as well as launching an attack on Canadian rapper Drake.
He is also said to have posted the now-deleted comment: 'If I wanted to see black people running I'd just threaten them with jobs.'
The 35-year-old was booted off the show after a video emerged of Tate beating his ex-girlfriend with a belt, which he claims is the reason why he was removed from the Channel 5 reality show the day before.
The clip shows the star continually hitting the woman with his belt - he also slaps her across the face.
But the star insisted it was 'playful fun' and said at the time: 'A longer version of the video shows us laughing and I’m hitting myself saying "it doesn’t hurt". 'I’m still friends with her and she’s in the UK with me now. I would never hit a woman.'
Tate stoked the fires of controversy again shortly before World Suicide Day when he tweeted 'depression isn't real'.
He wrote: 'There are very few fat lonely man, aged 60 with no money or family or hobbys. Who arnt depressed. – this is not a clinical disease'.
His remarks were later blasted by former boxer Ricky Hatton and best-selling author J.K Rowling.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, Tate caused controversy with his comments about rape.
At the time, he tweeted: 'Women have been exchanging sex for opportunity for a very long time. Some did this. Weren’t abused. […] If you put yourself in a position to be raped, you must bear some responsibility.'
Twitter removed the tweets for violating their policy and Tate's account was suspended, however he has since gone on to become a verified user.
Tate and his brother Tristan allegedly ran a cam girl business in Romania after moving there in 2017, where '75 lingerie-clad models take calls from fans paying $4 a minute'.
He previously said: 'I could open a strip club, but that takes money and I need overhead, I need money. How can I use these women to make me money.
'At the height of my webcam pimpin’ I think I am the king of the world […] the problem is the first two girls worked for me because they loved me, […] but once you get bigger you start hiring girls who don’t love you. They are in it for the money.'
According to Daily Beast, Tate's mansion was raided by Romanian authorities in relation to an alleged human trafficking incident.
The investigation followed a tip off from the US Embassy that a 21-year-old American woman was being held at the home against her will.
The case is ongoing. The brothers were released at the time and deny all wrongdoing.
The MPs' warnings come just days after the official UK Parliament account was taken down over after concerns were about the social media firm's shady links to China.
Tensions have been rising between Beijing and the West in recent years with Westminster banning Chinese firm Huawei from involvement in the UK's 5G network.
Fears have been raised that ByteDance, a Chinese company that runs TikTok, could be in position to one day send user data to the country's ruling Communist regime - something the firm strenuously denies.
In the last three months Chicago-born Tate, described as the 'king of toxic masculinity,' has been searched on Google more than Donald Trump or Kim Kardashian. Today, he's worth an estimated £24million, with millions of social media followers.
He also has thousands of acolytes emulating him in his £39-a-month ($47) 'Hustler's University' - where self-described experts use Discord servers to promise followers get rich quick schemes using cryptocurrency, property or e-commerce.
On TikTok, impressionable boys as young as 13 are exposed to the rants and ravings of a man who once told rape victims to 'bear responsibility' and has openly described hitting and choking women.
Tate has attracted attention and controversy for his outlandish comments that promote 'male-female interaction' such as throwing a woman's possessions out of a window, and describing an ex-girlfriend as a 'dumb h**'.
In one clip shared online, in which he acts out how he would attack a woman if she accused him of cheating, Tate says: 'It's bang out the machete, boom in her face and grip her by the neck. Shut up b****.'
In seemingly harmless online clips, the cigar-smoking playboy quips that he only drinks sparkling water and that men should shirk cats and instead own dogs as pets.
But his messages that are widely shared online also adopt a darker tone.
Other videos purportedly show Tate explaining why being able to 'make an imprint' means he only dates women aged 18 to 19. Across various clips he says women belong at home, shouldn't drive and are a man's property.
Various reports about his personal wealth see his net worth range from £20 to £230million. In recent interviews he claimed to make his first million at 27, while earning £100 million by the time he was 31.
The influencer has benefited from hundreds of online profiles that push traffic to his 'Hustler's University' website that offers training courses on 'escaping the rat race' and accumulating vast wealth.
Tate did not immediately respond to MailOnline's request for comment.
Tate's professional kickboxing career took off while he was working as TV producer in his 20s.
In 2005 he won a cruiserweight championship and picked up his second title, the ISKA World Full-Contact Light Cruiserweight Championship, in 2013.
He hit the headlines again when he was kicked out of the Big Brother house in 2016 over a video that showed him hitting a woman with a belt.
Later clips emerged showing Tate telling a woman to count the bruises he had