Before the federal election: 82 percent fear manipulation through fake news


Before the general election, a large majority of Germans are afraid of attempts at manipulation through fake news. In a Forsa survey published on Tuesday on behalf of the NRW State Media Authority, 82 percent of those questioned agreed with the statement: “I am concerned that political disinformation campaigns will manipulate the election results.”

82 percent also shared the opinion that political disinformation endangers our democracy. Forsa surveyed 1005 German-speaking Internet users aged 14 and over nationwide from June 3rd to 7th.

Be considered disinformation according to the Federal Returning Officer Identifies information that is known to be false or misleading and that is distributed in order to influence or deceive the public. There is no central point for recognizing and correcting disinformation in Germany.

More than a third of those surveyed (36 percent) gave it in the Forsa surveythat they have personally noticed attempts at political disinformation on the Internet. However, only a few users became active afterwards: According to the survey, only about 16 percent of this group criticized the message in an answer or comment, which they considered manipulative, 15 percent reported the message or the author to the Internet portal.

The NRW Medienanstalt expects that due to the corona pandemic, a large part of the election campaign for the federal election will be relocated to the Internet and that digital information will therefore be of particular importance. That is why the state media authority is monitoring the election campaign very closely and is also planning a second survey on election advertising and possible disinformation campaigns in the final phase before the election.


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