Interactive tool tracks narratives around this year’s German elections
Washington, D.C. – The Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD) at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) today launched the 2021 German Elections Dashboard, an interactive open source tool that will provide summary analysis of topics and themes promoted by influential foreign and domestic messengers during this year’s regional and federal elections in Germany.
The dashboard tracks the outputs of Chinese, Iranian, Turkish, and Russian government officials and state-funded media that target German audiences on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and state media websites. Additionally, the dashboard will aggregate the outputs of German media outlets, as well as the major German political parties and their respective candidates, allowing users to analyze how foreign state-backed messaging compares to the narratives promoted by domestic actors. The dashboard is a collaboration between ASD, GMF, and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD).
“The upcoming German elections come at a critical time for democracy; autocratic actors are seeking opportunities to undermine our institutions, and the pandemic is exacerbating the challenges democratic systems face,” said Kristine Berzina and Nad’a Kovalcikova, both ASD fellows. “The 2021 German Elections Dashboard will allow us to take a closer look at Russia and China’s information manipulation efforts around Covid-19, vaccinations, and restrictions during the election period. It is our aim to help increase resilience against autocratic efforts to undermine democracy and to improve awareness of potential threats.”
“What the 2020 U.S. elections made clear is that it is impossible to study foreign information manipulation without understanding the domestic information space,” said Bret Schafer, ASD’s media and digital disinformation fellow. “The German Elections Dashboard attempts to solve that issue by allowing users to track the ways in which foreign narratives intersect or diverge from the key topics and themes being promoted by domestic audiences in Germany, allowing for more insightful comparative analysis.”
The tool will be used as part of the 2021 German Elections Project, an initiative launched earlier this year by GMF and ASD that seeks to build resilience to autocratic efforts to interfere in Germany’s democracy by identifying and analyzing information manipulation targeting the upcoming elections.
Join the German Marshall Fund’s Elections 2021 kick-off featuring the launch of the 2021 German Elections Dashboard TODAY, Tuesday, May 11 at 12pm EDT/6pm CEDT. Register here: https://gmfus.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ZIJzrFheQNCgiC5iwjf0RQ
LINKS & RESOURCES
Access the 2021 German Elections Dashboard here: https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/german-election-dashboard/
Access the 2021 German Elections Project here: https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/2021-german-elections/
Read the 2021 German Elections Project blog post here: https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/2021-german-elections-project/
Reporters interested in a German Elections Dashboard briefing or an interview about the project should reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.