Andrew Tate Channels Culled By YouTube After Revelations About Get Rich Quick "Cult"

Channels with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, including one with more than 450 million views, have been terminated by the video-sharing giant in the wake of a VICE News investigation into Tate’s The Real World programme.
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One of Andrew Tate's The Real World channels banned on YouTube. Image: YouTube. 

YouTube has culled a number of big channels promoting Andrew Tate’s online business academy The Real World, following a VICE News investigation revealing how the scheme has been using social media platforms to exploit his young fans.

Among the newly banned YouTube accounts was one dedicated to The Real World content, highlighted in the article, that had more than 600,000 subscribers. The channel had racked up more than 450 million views for its content promoting The Real World since it was created in December 2022, despite YouTube saying that it had terminated channels associated with The Real World and Tate.


Other The Real World channels removed by YouTube included one with 264,000 subscribers and nearly 300 million views, and another with 50,000.

The VICE News report, published Tuesday, detailed serious concerns about Tate’s $49-a-month programme, which promises to teach teen boys the entrepreneurial skills to get rich quickly. Instead, critics claimed, the site was exploiting the influencer’s young fans for their money and labour. It recruited them through promotional ads on social media, relying on laissez-faire moderation policies at YouTube, TikTok and Instagram – despite the sites supposedly having banned Tate and The Real World content from their platforms.

READ: Leaving the Real World: How I escaped Andrew Tate’s get rich quick “cult”

Karim Mahmoud, a disaffected former The Real World student, told VICE News how members of its “affiliate marketing” campus were tasked with making multiple social media videos promoting Tate and his business school each day. Once students had gained a big enough following on their social media accounts, they were entitled to earn a commission from each new recruit, in a marketing model that had the hallmarks of a pyramid scheme - although Mahmoud believes few students made any money.

He said students on the platform were pushed by their tutors to work long hours - sometimes 16 a day - and bombarded with red-pill ideology amid what he described as a cult-like atmosphere. UK-based lawyer Jack Beeston, whose firm has been calling for The Real World to be deplatformed by social media companies, said Tate’s targeting of young people for exploitation was “the digital equivalent of grooming.”

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A screengrab from one of the newly deleted The Real World channels on YouTube, which had racked up more than 450 million views since it was created in 2022. This video was posted on Monday. Image: YouTube

The Real World’s operating model is wholly reliant on social media giants like YouTube, TikTok and Instagram as platforms on which to post their recruitment videos - which in turn generate valuable traffic for the sites. Despite the sites having supposedly banned Tate and The Real World content, VICE News found videos promoting Tate and his programme proliferating on the platforms, with single channels having racked up hundreds of millions of views in some cases.

In a statement, a YouTube spokesperson said a number of The Real World and associated channels, including ones identified by VICE News, had been terminated “for violating our Terms of Service, which prohibit prominently featuring content from a previously terminated user.”

“When a channel is terminated, it is against our Terms of Service to open or use another channel or circumvent the policy suspension of one channel by activity on another.”

The spokesperson initially claimed some of the channels had been terminated last week. When VICE News pointed out that this was incorrect, as Tuesday’s article had featured a new promotional video posted on the largest channel on Monday - the spokesperson backtracked and said the termination had instead happened this week.

One of the culled channels, with 264,000 subscribers, was banned for violating YouTube’s spam, deceptive practices, and scams policies, “which strictly prohibit content where the main purpose is to trick others into leaving YouTube for another site,” said the spokesperson. That channel was terminated after VICE News flagged it to the spokesperson on Wednesday.


Nathan Pope, an Australian man who has campaigned for the social media giants to deplatform Tate and his content, said he was “pleased that YouTube has taken steps to remove much of The Real World content.”

But, while a number of the larger The Real World channels had been removed, there was “still work to do,” he said. Some large The Real World channels remained active on YouTube, including one with 194,000 subscribers and 195 million views, and another with 160,000 subscribers. VICE News has flagged those channels to YouTube.

Pope said that, prior to the VICE News article, he had flagged hundreds of The Real World videos to the social media companies, as well as emailing their executives directly outlining his concerns. But the companies had largely left the promotional videos online, responding that the content was not in breach of their rules. 

He believed that the sites’ moderators had previously failed to grasp both the threat posed to young people by The Real World, and how the site operated as a decentralised content factory, flooding social media with a torrent of pro-Tate content posted by a large network of students.

He said it was crucial that YouTube keep The Real World off its platform, “so that they cannot simply create new channels and rebuild.” 

“And other social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram absolutely must follow YouTube's lead,” he said. 

Neither TikTok nor Instagram had responded to requests for comment on their response at the time of publication.