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Teens pay more attention to Andrew Tate than political leaders

A poll by an advocacy group ‘HOPE not hate’ has found that teenage boys in the UK know more about Andrew Tate than Rishi Sunak, the nation’s prime minister. What does this say about the power of social media?

Andrew Tate has become a household name over the last few years.

His unfiltered, macho-manic and highly misogynistic views have brought him to the centre of conversation in both the news and on social media.

Tate was recently arrested on charges of human trafficking, rape, and forming an organised crime group. In the lead-up to these events, the content he posted online saw him regularly framing women as men’s property, comparing them to animals and symbols of status.

Unfortunately, this type of content has found its way to young and impressionable audiences – in particular, young boys. Measuring the impact of exposure to these types of extreme right-wing ideologies has now become a focus for social welfare organisations.

A recent poll conducted by the British advocacy group HOPE not hate questioned 1,200 respondents between the age of 16 and 24 about their knowledge of famous public figures. The results are worrying, but perhaps unsurprising.

What HOPE not hate found was that boys in the range of 16-17 knew more about social media influencer Andrew Tate than they did about Rishi Sunak, the UK’s Prime Minister.

A closer look at some of the more intricate details paints a strange picture of the overwhelming power social media has in influencing the views of young people.

At least 82 percent of girls between the ages of 16-17 reported having negative opinions about Tate. Only 26 percent of boys participating felt the same.

Even more worrying is that 45 percent of teenage boys admitted to having positive views of Andrew Tate. This is likely down to the lavish lifestyle and egoistical persona he presents online, which may be perceived as self-confidence and earned success in the eyes of young men.

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Realising that young people know so much about so-called influencers but so little about the people who are running the country is a hard pill to swallow.

That said, Rishi Sunak has taken a far more low-key approach to leadership, which could be the reason why young people aren’t paying attention.

Unlike his predecessors, who were loud and proud about their policy decisions no matter how poor they turned out to be, Rishi has flown somewhat below the radar while making some questionable moves related to trans rights and education.

Still, the data presented by HOPE not hate makes it clear that cultural narratives online have more power to influence and attract the attention of teenagers than those in positions of political leadership do.

This is problematic, especially when people like Andrew Tate can easily upload content promoting narratives that threaten equality and human rights.

As a result of this new data, HOPE not hate will amp up its work on protecting communities most susceptible to radicalisation which, evidently, is any young person with access to Wi-Fi.


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