February 4, 2022 | Wired

German anti-lockdown movement ‘quite radical compared to other countries’

ISD’s Jakob Guhl spoke to WIRED about the diversity of groups that characterise the anti-lockdown movement in Germany, noting the increase in followers of far-right figures since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Germany’s anti-lockdown movement strikes me as relatively large, fairly energised, and quite radical compared to other countries,” Jakob told WIRED. “It includes some people who were part of previously existing far-right movements but, more interestingly, it unites quite a lot of anti-vaxxers, people with interest in alternative lifestyles, alternative medicine, conspiracy theorists, people who adhere to QAnon.”

The article covers the key role Telegram has played in helping these groups share content, including COVID-19 misinformation and conspiracy theories, and mobilise. “It’s taken me by surprise how quickly people who hadn’t been previously involved in ideological movements have been radicalised and quite how extreme and frequent the calls for violence are,” Jakob said.