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How did we get to the point where former pro kickboxer and reality TV personality Andrew Tate got arrested on charges of human sex trafficking and rape?
Most people don't know Tate as a kickboxer but as a "men's rights influencer." His online accounts had millions of followers, most notably on TikTok. Tate's videos consisted of him saying things like, "I'm not a rapist, but I like the idea of just being able to do what I want," and that women are men's property and should stay at home. In August, Tate was banned from Facebook, YouTube and TikTok for policy violations.
He was also banned from Twitter in 2017 after tweeting that sexual assault victims should "bare some responsibility." But, when Elon Musk took over, Tate was allowed back. Tweeting would end up being a bad move on his part because it might've led to his arrest.
Last Tuesday, Tate tweeted:
And climate activist Greta Thunberg responded by tweeting: "yes, please do enlighten me. email me at email@example.com". This is now one of the most-liked tweets on the platform of all time.
Hours later, Tate tweeted a video response to Thunberg. In it, Tate criticized her by saying she's trying to "convince you to beg your government to tax you into poverty to stop the sun from being hot."
In the video, someone brings Tate a couple of pizza boxes, clearly from a pizza chain local to Romania. When Tate was arrested on Thursday, some journalists said that because of the boxes in the video, Romanian authorities were able to confirm that Tate was in the country. But Romanian authorities just announced that the pizza boxes didn't lead to his arrest, but it was instead because of a thorough months-long investigation.
Tate is now in jail on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and forming an organized crime group along with three other people. Prosecutors said: "The four suspects ... appear to have created an organized crime group with the purpose of recruiting, housing and exploiting women by forcing them to create pornographic content meant to be seen on specialized websites for a cost."