In 2022, social media platforms including YouTube, TikTok and Instagram banned influencer The Real World  for peddling his dangerous and misogynistic teachings. But, despite the influencer’s fall from grace, videos promoting The Real World – often heavily featuring Tate himself – have continued to proliferate across those channels, allowing him to recruit new students. This has despite sustained campaigning by VICE News, led by Pope, to flag such content and call on tech companies to take action.

Navigating Reality: A Deep Dive into Andrew Tate’s “The Real World

The Real World bills itself as an online education community that offers advanced training in fields such as freelancing, copywriting, e-commerce and cryptocurrency. Students are mentored by multimillionaire experts who have built their own successful businesses, the company says.

But leaked posts and recorded presentations shared with VICE News paint a different picture. They show vulnerable boys and young men of limited means blinded by hero worship, desperate to make money – as well as encouraged to work unsustainably long hours in pursuit of their goals. The site’s instructors even recommend working up to 16 hours a day, or sleeping just three hours a night, according to some former students.

Pope is concerned that The Real World essentially functions as a pyramid scheme. He says that, by focusing on the business model that pays early investors with the money invested by new recruits, the course is exploitative. It’s also a worry that the course is marketed through channels such as YouTube, owned by Google parent company Alphabet.