Before the election began, interested parties were spreading rumors of fraud
Christian Charisius / Reuters / REUTERS
Campaigns that sow doubts about the legitimacy of elections are on the rise on social networks.
This is the result of an analysis by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, which specializes in extremism research, on the state elections in Saxony-Anhalt.
In Germany, the researchers analyzed various social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Telegram and Bitchute, as well as blogs and newsletters from right-wing and right-wing extremist circles.
On Twitter, for example, an estimated 2.6 million users saw tweets with the hashtag »#voting fraud«. The narrative that postal votes are particularly often falsified was eagerly shared. Among other things, this claim is spread by the organization "One Percent", which is close to the AfD and the right-wing extremist "Identitarian Movement". In addition, Russian state media such as RT DE "mainly attracted attention through uncritical reports on the AfD," the analysis says.
The team of experts calls on the Internet platforms to develop guidelines in Germany similar to those in the presidential elections in the United States. The US platforms, for example, took action against the content of the conspiracy movement QAnon and deleted tens of thousands of propaganda accounts. Otherwise, successful campaigns of this kind could "become a weak point for the Bundestag election in September".