Germany Disinformation Profile
German Media Environment
The non-tabloid press is a trusted news source among Germans. Press Freedom is guaranteed in the constitutions and Germany is ranked 11 out of 180 in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index. Facebook is the leading social media site in Germany with over 31 million users and according to the World Bank 88% of Germans regularly use the internet.
According to EU vs Disinfo Germany was the main target among EU member states of Russian disinformation. They found over 700 cases of disinformation cases which directly target Germany. This campaign is propagated by Russian media and politicians to portray Germany as Russophobic.
In 2016 the "Lisa Case" made visible the coordinated way in which Russian influence operations worked in Germany. Lisa was a thirteen year old girl who went missing and alleged that she was raped by migrants, which police later found was not true. However Russian media picked up on the story and foreign outlets like RT, Sputnik and RT Deutsch, the story was spread on social media. After which demonstrations by the far right groups and the German-Russian minority in Russia were conducted and reported on in Russian media and then German mainstream media. Top Russian political leaders used the case to voice doubt about Germany's ability to police cases similar to this due to it's culture of political correctness.
Russian outlets for many years have also attacked Germany and other EU nations for what they claim is the state's action of "stealing children". They allege that there is systematic persecution of Russian families.
Russian outlets narratively try seek out those in Germany society who share Putin's skepticism of the "decadent west" as well as mistrust in the elites of their country.
Covid conspiracies have gained traction in Germany. Right wing publications have been spreading "alternative media" in which different conspiracies are prevalent about villainous elites. Before 2020 Q Anon had a small presence in Germany however it has become the largest Q Anon community outside of the English speaking world with at least 150,000. After Trump left office some began to have doubts but overall many believers continued to place their faith in Q anon.