Andrew Tate’s Hustlers University Offered Prizes for Followers to ‘Cancel’ KSI

VICE World News obtained chat logs showing that a close associate of Andrew Tate put a “bounty” on the head of KSI after he backed Tate’s ban from social media platforms.
Matt Shea
London, GB
andrew tate ksi
Photos: MIHAI BARBU/AFP via Getty Images and Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

LONDON – A close associate of Andrew Tate put a “bounty” on the head of influencer KSI, offering a prize to the Tate follower who made the most popular video about how the streamer and boxer “needs to be condemned and cancelled,” according to chat logs and other evidence obtained by VICE World News. 

Experts have pointed to manipulation of tech platform’s algorithms as a central feature of Tate’s rise to fame over the past several years. Another aspect of the Tate empire’s online presence, though, is the way his followers swarm his perceived enemies – something that appears to have been in at least some cases centrally directed by Tate’s inner circle.


The mechanism, in this case, was Tate’s Hustlers University, “an online money-focused community providing education and coaching to over 100,000 students worldwide,” according to its website. In practice, the programme, aimed at boys and young men (“shock your friends and family by becoming the kid who’s leveling up in real life,” reads the website), resembled multi-level marketing, with members who paid $49 per month to receive instruction on how to “make money online” learning how to participate in an affiliate-link scheme that involved sharing viral clips of Tate.

A source who was once a member of Hustlers University says students were also offered “cancellation bounties,” which were placed on the heads of Tate’s perceived enemies. In a message this source shared with VICE World News, a moderator using the screen name “Luc” appears to be instructing members to make videos condemning KSI – a British YouTuber, boxer, rapper and entrepreneur with 24 million followers – and offering a reward for the most successful one.


This message was sent on the 23rd of August 2022, two days after KSI tweeted “thank God Andrew Tate was banned” when Tate was banned from social media platforms including Instagram, Youtube, and TikTok. 


Two days later, “Luc” posted the “cancellation bounty” to a Hustlers University Discord server.

VICE World News visited Tate’s compound in Romania in August 2022, and while there filmed both Andrew and his cousin, Luke, seemingly replying to messages on Hustlers University Discord servers.


Andrew Tate and Luke work at computers in Tate's Romanian compound in August 2022.

Luke, aware that VICE World News was filming, moved between various Telegram groups and Discord servers, advising students on what Tate content to post and seemingly trying to quell fears that Youtube would ban their accounts. On Discord, he did so using the handle “Luc.”

Luke did not respond to repeated requests for comment at the phone number he provided us with when VICE World News filmed with him in August 2022. Emails sent to his listed email address bounced back.


Luke works at a computer in Tate's Romanian compound in August 2022.

The bounty was just one prong of Tate’s campaign. In a video posted on the 27th of August to Rumble, a platform backed by tech oligarch Peter Thiel and US senator JD Vance that promotes itself as “immune to cancel culture,” Tate publicly ranted against KSI himself. Tate begins by showing a number of clips from old KSI videos in which, among other things, he makes what he called a “rape face.”

“This is a personal message to you, KSI,” Tate goes on to say. “I had no problem with you, I don’t fucking know you, I don’t watch your bullshit YouTube channel but when I get banned, you want to go from a fan to just instantly cowering out to the matrix? That makes you a hypocrite,” he said. “There's nothing more disgusting than a male hypocrite. At least Jake Paul was man enough to say, “Stand up for free speech.” If you ever fought Jake, he would smash your fucking face in. And if you want to get smoked twice, I’ll fucking smoke you myself!”


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KSI had previously beaten Jake Paul’s brother Logan in a boxing match; Tate himself is a former champion kickboxer.

“You’re full of shit, you’re a fucking hypocrite,” Tate continued. “The shit you've said in the past is worse than anything I've ever fucking said and you know it. I will take you 12 rounds and I will break every bone in your fucking face. Fucking dork. Fuck KSI.”

Hustlers University ostensibly taught members how to create wealth on the internet. Paying for the course would get you access to Discord servers chaired by Tate’s “professors,” who taught classes on crypto trading, copywriting, dropshipping, forex trading, and various other ways to make money online. 

One of the supposed methods of “wealth creation” taught to students was an affiliate marketing programme for the course itself. An affiliate marketing program involves people sharing links to products or courses; if someone signs up through a link posted by a given person, they get a cut of the fee paid for the course. 


There’s nothing nefarious about affiliate marketing in general. What was perhaps unique about Tate’s affiliate program, aside from the way it turned boys and young men seeking to learn how to get rich into foot soldiers in his digital army, is that the links being shared were for the same Hustlers University course, meaning that new sign-ups were taught how to create their own affiliate links for the course, and so on. It is this that has led some to liken the programme to a multi-level marketing scheme

To promote their affiliate links for the course, Hustlers University members were instructed to share clips of Tate, with their affiliate links posted in the video and page descriptions. This explains, in part, how Tate became so famous so quickly – he had financially incentivised tens of thousands of people to share clips of him on social media. In particular, it has been argued that the more controversial the clip, the more likely it is to go viral; all of this does a lot to explain why videos of Tate making his most controversial claims are shared so widely across the internet. 

This has been described as a “blatant attempt to manipulate the algorithm.” It’s also what’s allowed Tate to tactically avoid social media bans, as the videos aren’t being posted from Tate’s account, but thousands of others, apparently coordinated via Telegram groups and Discord servers. 

The KSI case isn’t the only instance of seemingly coordinated attempts to spread content and messaging about Tate and his apparent detractors. The Center for Countering Digital Hate announced on Wednesday the 14th of January that it had found 4,621 fake Twitter accounts that had been created to promote Tate. The bot accounts tweeted 15,202 times in support of the former kickboxer, mass tweeting using hashtags "#freetopG," "#freetate," "#freeandrewtate," or "#freetates". The accounts were deemed as fake if they had less than 10 followers, and were less than 3 months old.

“If Elon Musk is serious about dealing with fake accounts, bots, and inauthentic behaviour then Twitter must act on Andrew Tate’s network of fake accounts manipulating Twitter’s algorithm,” Imran Ahmed, the CEO of CCDH, said in a press release.

Musk previously claimed that one of his biggest priorities after acquiring Twitter was to "defeat the spam bots or die trying."