Apple has been criticised for hosting an app created by Andrew Tate that has been accused of encouraging misogyny and being an illegal pyramid scheme.
Tate created the app, Real World Portal, after the closure of his “Hustler’s University”, which was an online academy for his fans, promising to assist them in making thousands of pounds while helping Tate’s videos on social media, which have been described as misogyny, to go viral.
McCue Jury & Partners, the firm representing four British women who have accused Tate of sexual and physical assault, has claimed that the app deliberately targets young men and encourages misogyny, including members of the app sharing techniques on how to control and exploit women. The firm has also claimed that there is evidence to suggest that the app is an illegal pyramid scheme, with members being charged $49.99 a month to join.
Last week, the Real World Portal app was removed from Google’s Play store following claims that it was an illegal pyramid scheme and encouraged misogyny.
The firm has also written to Apple, asking it to consider whether the app is in line with its policies and whether the company is exposing itself to any corporate liability in hosting it on its platform. At the time of publication, Real World Portal is still available to download from Apple’s App Store.
Part of the letter, dated 15 September, said: “We are writing because our clients are extremely concerned that you are hosting Tate’s Real World Portal (RWP) mobile application on your Apple Store … In continuing to host RWP, not only is Apple potentially indirectly financing Tate’s alleged criminal activities but is aiding the spread of his misogynistic teachings.”
The firm has also claimed that Apple is directly profiting from hosting the app, with the company taking 30% in royalties from apps and in-app purchases.
The four women in their late 20s and early 30s are pursuing civil proceedings against Tate over alleged offences between 2013 and 2016 while he was still living in the UK.
As Google Play has removed the app from its store, Apple has been criticised for failing to follow suit.
Matt Jury, the lawyer representing the alleged UK victims of Tate, said: “Andrew and Tristan Tate manipulate their significant online following to promote subscriptions to Real World Portal. From there, the benefits to users are entirely reliant upon new subscribers joining the platform.
“There is also significant evidence that this scheme is directly targeting boys and teenagers and, in my view, is nothing more than an exploitative app which has no place on Apple’s platform. Unless it acts immediately, for Apple to continue to profit from Real World Portal should be a source of shame, embarrassment and, quite possibly, civil and criminal sanctions.”
Tate is currently awaiting trial in Romania on charges of human trafficking. Tate and his brother Tristan were charged in June, along with two Romanian female suspects, with human trafficking, rape and forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women. The suspects have denied the allegations.
A spokesperson for Andrew Tate said: “We unequivocally deny the allegations that ‘The Real World’ app operates as a pyramid scheme or perpetuates harmful techniques aimed at exploiting any individuals, particularly women. The user community, which includes a significant number of women within the 200,000 strong user base, can attest to the positive impact and educational value the app provides.
“Accusations suggesting otherwise are unfounded, lacking credible evidence, and seem to be part of a targeted campaign against Andrew Tate, a known supporter and promoter of the platform. ‘The Real World’ maintains a commitment to complete transparency, ensuring compliance with all legal and ethical standards. We invite sceptics to examine the app independently and affirm that it operates in accordance with legal and moral requirements.
“The platform is designed as an educational tool that fosters healthy habit formation, financial literacy, and self-discipline, with thousands of lives positively impacted. The decision by Google Play is being appealed.”
Apple has been approached for comment.