The 2021 German Federal Election on Social Media: Analysing Electoral Risks Created by Twitter and Facebook

Johanne Kübler, Marie Therese Sekwenz, Felicitas Rachinger, Anna König, Rita Gsenger, Eliška Pírková, Ben Wagner*, Matthias C. Kettemann, Michael Krennerich, Carolina Ferro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Safeguarding democratic elections is hard. Social media plays a vital role in the discourse around elections and during electoral campaigns. The following article provides an analysis of the 'systemic electoral risks' created by Twitter and Facebook and the mitigation strategies employed by the platforms. It is based on the 2020 proposal by the European Commission for the new Digital Services Act (DSA) in the context of the 2021 German federal elections. This article focuses on Twitter and Facebook and their roles during the German federal elections that took place on 26 September 2021. We analysed three systemic electoral risk categories: 1) the dissemination of illegal content, 2) negative effects on electoral rights, and 3) the influence of disinformation and developed systematic categories for this purpose. In conclusion, we discuss how to respond to these challenges as well as avenues for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 56th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2023
EditorsTung X. Bui
PublisherIEEE
Pages4036-4045
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780998133164
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event56th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2023 - Hawaii , Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: 3 Jan 20236 Jan 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Volume2023-January
ISSN (Print)1530-1605

Conference

Conference56th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online
Period3/01/236/01/23

Keywords

  • disinformation
  • elections
  • Germany
  • illegal content
  • platform governance
  • socio-technical systems

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