The German Far Right Online: A Longitudinal Study

Authors: Paula Matlach and Dominik Hammer

Published: 23 January 2024

This study contains insights from two years of research on far-right online activity across multiple platforms. As the final report of the project “Countering Radicalisation in Right-Wing Extremist Online Subcultures”, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ), the study looks at both far-right narratives and online behaviour within and across platforms in the context of a changing regulatory environment. First, the study encompasses a content analysis based on the topic modelling of 1,273,380 messages published by 225 far-right and conspiracist Telegram channels. Second, it includes an analysis of the activity, follower count and engagement of 1,032 social media accounts belonging to, or adjacent to, the German-speaking far-right online milieu. Third, the report contains a link analysis, based on a total of 4,230,926 messages on Facebook, X/Twitter and Telegram, to identify the preferred platforms of the German far right. Drawing from these analyses, recommendations for digital policy under the Digital Services Act are provided.

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