Germany: Green Party demands TikTok ban of popular AfD party

AfD co-chair Alice Weidel. (MTI/EPA/Clemens Bilan)
By Dénes Albert
4 Min Read

To keep people away from Alternative for Germany (AfD) content, the Green-affiliated campaign network Campact wants to ban the AfD from TikTok. With the AfD the second most popular party in the country, part of the party’s appeal may be tied to its popularity on TikTok, where it is more popular than all the other German parties and has twice as many followers as all other parties combined.

The ruling left-liberal government is desperate to stop the AfD, including using anti-democratic means. While the government works towards banning the party entirely, a part of this all-out effort against AfD means cutting it off from the marketplace of ideas, where the other parties are outright losing.

Campact is working to collect signatures in this effort, calling for the AfD to be banned from TikTok. They will deliver this petition to representatives of the company’s headquarters in Berlin.

The AfD’s TikTok channel features over 409,000 followers and 7 million likes.

The reason given is: “The right-wing extremist slogans reach children and young people in particular.” The Green-backed organization claims this is “dangerous.”

The campaign network is aiming to obtain 200,000 signatures before it delivers its petition to the Berlin branch of the short-form video platform. However, Campact has overshot this mark, earning around 250,000 signatures in what it describes as a campaign against “hatred and agitation.”

AfD’s popularity is a major problem for rival parties on the platform, where AfD features over 409,000 followers, while the Social Democrats (SPD), the Left Party, Free Democrats (FDP), the Christian Democrats (CDU), and the Greens only have a combined total of 220,000 followers. AfD videos are also wildly popular in comparison, earning twice the number of views of all other parties combined.

The former campaign manager of the Green Party and an influential political advisor, Johannes Hillje, is warning about the party’s success.

“The TikTok generation is threatening to become an AfD generation,” he said to Der Spiegel. He said that AfD’s strong showing in state elections is tied to younger people voting for the party, which is due in part to the AfD’s successful TikTok strategy.

Teens and young people are also openly backing the AfD on TikTok. Notably, this week, a freedom-of-speech scandal erupted after reports that a 16-year-old, Loretta B., posted comments on TikTok supportive of the AfD party. When three officers pulled her out of her school in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, it resulted in a major scandal and warnings of a repressive police state. The scandal has made international news, with billionaire Elon Musk even defending the girl on X.

Remix News’ TikTok channel faces a shadowban on TikTok after earning millions of views. The account featured numerous warnings for news content and multiple suspensions, showcasing TikTok’s willingness to ban or shadowban news platforms and opinions. However, AfD’s channel has so far avoided such censorship.

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