The Online Ecosystem of the German Far-Right
This report presents the findings of a research project of Digital Analysis Unit within in the UK based Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) about the alternative online-ecosystem of the far-right, including alternative social media platforms and alternative media outlets. While these platforms draw in a global audience this report focuses specifically on the German speaking and Germany-focused communities and outlets within this ecosystem.
Drawing together ISD’s digital ethnographic work across dozens of forums and channels with the latest in machine learning and natural language processing, this report provides an overview over the size and nature of the far-right communities on these platforms, the motivations for participating in these communities and assesses whether banning far-right groups from mainstream platforms leads to the displacement of their followers to ‘alternative’ platforms. It also analyses the role of alternative ‘news’ outlets in disseminating far-right concepts and compare the frequency and types of coverage of far-right themes in mainstream and alternative media.
This report also recommends steps to be taken by tech companies, government, civil society and researchers to counter the far-right online.