What fans of the CDU read on Facebook shortly after the parliamentary elections

Cake recipes, a puppy video and fake news: This is what CDU fans shared on Facebook shortly after the election

On the day after the election, many CDU supporters fancy sugar-sweet pastries and desserts with cream. Others seem to have the urge to dive into gardening. We analysed which topics were trending amongst fans of the CDU facebook page on 24th and 25th September.

 

Many CDU fans begin election day by watching campaign videos produced by their political party.

Besides a campaign video that is kept very general, Luan Krasniqi is drawing most of the attention. In his video statement, the former boxer praises the chancellor’s credibility and her work during the financial crisis.

Facebook users are also interested in the catcalls that Angela Merkel had to endure during her election campaign appearance in Munich. Not only items from reliable media such as local newspaper  Münchner Merkur are circulating; a video from the inflammatory right-wing website blog.halle-leaks.de is also making the rounds.

Trends from conspiracy theory websites

Further questionable content that is shared by CDU fans before 6:00 pm includes videos from the conspiracy theory websites Klagemauer TV and NuoViso.TV.

The Klagemauer TV video claims that people whose opinions differ from “the politically correct, official opinion” have to expect being subjected to defamation.

NuoViso.TV’s video tries to look like a movie trailer and describes the government under Angela Merkel as a “regime of liars” and a “vicarious agent of the United States”.

It also purports “intrigues of the German secret services which have been established over several decades”.

Another shared item is a text from the  website Russland.news from September 23nd, in which it is alleged that Russian hackers had stolen and published the election results in advance.

Apart from an added introduction, the post is a verbatim copy of a September 22nd text from the satirical and newspaper-like online publication Postillon.

Even though the source is indicated below the text, it can easily be overlooked (especially if the reader does not continue reading until the end).

Interest in Melanie Trump and Prince Harry

Nevertheless, only a limited number of Facebook posts contain content from dubious sources. Just like fans of the SPD Facebook page, the CDU fans share a video of the German campaign platform campact, in warning that if the AfD is voted into parliament, Nazi ideologies could follow them in.

In addition, CDU fans are interested in topics that have nothing to do with the election. For instance, Melania Trump is very popular.

Users read about her encounter with Great Britain’s Prince Harry and watch a video that shows the presidential wife discussing healthy food with children in the vegetable garden that she inherited from her predecessor Michelle Obama.

The first live statement of the election evening

After the polling stations close, some users watch a video addressed to CDU election campaigners and supporters. However, its popularity is much lower than that of Martin Schulz’s (SPD) acknowledgment video. Overall, CDU fans prefer to continue sharing former boxer Luan Krasniqi’s video statement.

Much attention is given to Angela Merkel’s first live statement of the election evening (shortly before 7:00 pm), in which she announces that she wants to win AfD voters back through good politics.

Her second appearance later that evening goes down even better, even though she and her CSU colleague Joachim Herrmann are only expressing their thanks.

Merkel’s refusal to wave a German flag

During the course of the evening, many fans of the CDU Facebook page are busy reading several different media contributions concerning Angela Merkel’s re-election.

Protests against the AfD’s election party play a role, although not to the same degree as amongst SPD fans.

Simultaneously, some users share a video about the CDU election party in 2013 during which Angela Merkel refused to wave a German flag. The newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on this video which is widely shared in German right-wing circles.

An attack on democracy through the AfD?

A very successful post in both the SPD and CDU communities is a ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen: second German public TV broadcaster) comment by Deputy Chief Editor Elmar Theveßen on the danger of an attack on democracy, the constitutional state and human rights through the AfD.

Amongst other things, Theveßen responds to politician Alexander Gauland’s election night statement that “We will bring back our country and our people” with “The country, Mr Gauland, does not belong to you or to the AfD. And neither does the country.”

Frauke Petry’s renunciation

The day after the elections, many Facebook users watch Angela Merkels’s live press conference and resume informing themselves about the protests against the AfD and Frauke Petry’s renunciation of her membership in the AfD parliamentary group.

Dubious items are also circulating once again, such as a text from the Austrian website Wochenblick that claims AfD supporters were “attacked by left-wing extremists” during the party’s election celebration.

It seems that fans of the CDU Facebook page then try to cope with their party’s mediocre election results by reading and watching videos about lighter topics.

Gardening and a puppy video

Some suddenly start being interested in gardening topics, for example the start of the apple harvest or celery. A. Others are moved by a video in which a frightened puppy learns how to plod down stairs.

The biggest trend, however, is recipes with a lot of sugar and cream – something that was not important on election day. While some SPD fans try to make simple cakes out of whatever they can find in their kitchens on the evening of 24th September, CDU fans serve effortful desserts ranging from biscuit surprise cake to apple pie with pudding and egg liqueur.

This article is based on an analysis of public posts shared by fans of the CDU Facebook page from 24th to 25th September 2017.

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