Christmas spirit beats fear of terrorism
The preparations for Christmas supersede nearly all political topics: We analysed what the fans of the Facebook page of the Nuremberg Christmas market were interested in during Advent time over the course of 10 days.
The Nuremberg Christmas market is one of the best-known Christmas markets in Germany. Every year, tourists from all over the world come to Middle Franconia to enjoy the pre-Christmas period over mulled wine and gingerbread.
Its international popularity is also reflected in social networks: Users who are interested in the Christmas market’s Facebook page are from many different countries. Most commonly, they speak German or English.
At least for users with these mother tongues, a visit to the Nuremberg Christmas market is not only a pleasant leisure activity.
Users who ‘like’ the Facebook page of the Christmas market consider Christmas one the most important topics of interest during the month of December; political or social issues play a minor role on from December 10th on.
Crime in Franconia and the new Star Wars movie
One of the few topics aside from the festivities was the case of a 16-year-old from the Lower Franconian Haßberge who was reported missing.
The police tried to find the teen through a public search; he was, however, found at a friend’s place shortly after. Many users shared the news that the 16-year-old had re-appeared.
In addition, the hundredfold sexual assault of a man from the Upper Franconian Kronach against his partner’s daughter received significant attention. The man had administered sleeping pills to the girl from the age of 13 on in order to be able to molest her without resistance.
Fans of the Facebook page of the Nuremberg Christmas market were also interested in the limitation of net neutrality in the U.S.
They shared an article of the British newspaper The Guardian which highlighted the risks in the changes as well as a petition on change.org campaigning for net neutrality that has been signed by more than 2 million people (as of 23/12/2017).
News that the soccer club FC Nürnberg had reached the second position in the table in the second Bundesliga and the Star Wars movie found special attention.
Aside from that, everything circles around Christmas for the fans of the Facebook page of the Nuremberger Christkindlesmarkt.
Users read about Christmas trees, Christmas pictures and Christmas gifts; they search for online Christmas cards and the best tips for Christmas pictures; and they while away their time with online games and personality tests.
One of the most-liked quizzes claims to help find out which of a user’s friends should be displayed on his or her Christmas tree.
Fear of terror attacks not traceable on Facebook
Users also talked about the Nuremberg Christmas market. They were interested in the Sternstunden fundraising campaign of the Bavarian public service broadcaster Bayerisches Fernsehen, whose team can be met at the market.
And they shared a text of the satirical newspaper Postillon which ironically criticises that many Christmas markets are only briefly open, despite significant revenues. The Nuremberg Christmas market is also mentioned in this text.
Commemorating the victims of the terror attack at the Berlin Breitscheidplatz on December 19th only played a marginal role for the fans of the Facebook page of the Nuremberg Christmas market.
Some users followed a live video of the newspaper Berliner Morgenpost from the commemoration ceremony. However, we did not find much evidence that users commented on the commemoration day in their own posts. At least on Facebook, it does not seem that people have much fear of further attacks on other Christmas markets.
The analysis is based on 467 articles posted or shared by the fans of the Facebook page of the Nuremberg Christmas market in the time period from December 10th to December 20th, 2017 in German or English.