“Make Germany Great Again” – Kremlin, Alt-Right and International Influences in the 2017 German Elections

ANNE APPLEBAUM, PETER POMERANTSEV, MELANIE SMITH AND CHLOE COLLIVER, DECEMBER 2017

This report presents the findings of a project run with partners from the Arena Project, part of the Institute for Global Affairs at LSE, that investigated Kremlin and other foreign attempts to influence the 2017 German elections. The project uncovered the tactics and narratives employed by Kremlin-sponsored media, pro-Kremlin social media networks and the international alt right to distort political discourse during the election campaign period.

The report explores how these efforts differed across three audiences in Germany: the nationalist right, the left wing and the Russian-speaking population. Through a mixed methodology that included social media analysis, investigative journalism and broadcast media monitoring, the report demonstrates the coordination of attempts to manipulate the debate between the online and offline. The report provides recommendations for steps that can be taken by domestic and international civil society, policymakers, and media in order to build a proportional and effective response to these efforts.

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Disinformation briefing: Narratives around Black Lives Matter and voter fraud

This short briefing details the methodology and key findings of a study conducted jointly by the ISD team and Politico. Leveraging data from across social media platforms, this investigation seeks to understand online discussions around the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the issue of voter fraud ahead of the US Presidential election. The research was designed to shed light on the volume and nature of disinformation related to these two issues online and how this disinformation may be weaponised to attempt to influence attitudes ahead of the election.

QAnon and Conspiracy Beliefs

The findings from this study provide important context for understanding the relationship between QAnon and the broader problem of conspiracy theory beliefs. A majority of Americans know nothing about QAnon and fewer than one-in-ten have a favorable view toward it; yet, a majority of those who recognize and believe in QAnon conspiracy theories are not QAnon supporters (most said they had not even heard of QAnon).

Hosting the ‘Holohoax’: A Snapshot of Holocaust Denial Across Social Media

This briefing paper examines the extent to which Holocaust denial content is readily accessible across Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and YouTube. This paper also demonstrates how appropriately applied content moderation policies can be effective in denying dangerous conspiracy theorists a public platform by examining how Holocaust denial content has decreased significantly in the past year on YouTube.