Alt-right movement tried to interfere in German elections

  • Mirka Pavlíková
  • 24.9.2017 16:15

On Wednesday 20 September, USA Today informed about an information war lead by trolls from the alt-right movement during the German parliamentary elections. The alt-right movement is based on an online ideology supporting racism and white nationalism. Instead of the expected Russian interference, right-wing groups from the United States seem to be behind agitating materials.

These trolls are trying to sway German public opinion by infiltrating social media conversations about the election, mostly in favour of right-wing anti-immigration populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party. According to polls, AfD is forecast to come in third with 11 % after the Christian Democrats (CDU), who are expected to be first, and the Social Democrats (SPD), expected to be second. Although these alt-right trolls are coming from the US, Russian influence cannot be definitely ruled out. There are currently 1.4 to 4 million native Russian speakers in Germany, who feel ignored by the country’s biggest political parties. On the contrary, AfD focuses on this minority by distributing flyers in Russian, warning against an “Islamic invasion” and praising Vladimir Putin. After interferences during elections in the US and France, both state and private sector are approaching the issue of defence more actively. The European Commission is proposing a more robust cyber agenda fighting against pre-election “hybrid attacks”. Facebook, on the other hand, is actively shutting down fake accounts who might be trying to sway the vote.

About author: Mirka Pavlíková


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