Social Media, US Election, and Hate Speech: Study on Social Climate {Review}

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After the US election and the victory of Donald Trump, the discussion has just rekindled Facebook, fake news and hate speech; The social media is credited with a decisive share of political opinion. The Friedrich Ebert Foundation has now examined how the social climate in Germany actually looks like.

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What is the New Right?


After the US election many demanded that Facebook should investigate the share of fake news and hate comments on the election result. Meanwhile, the Friedricht-Ebert-Stiftung has just published a study in which the approval and rejection of new right attitudes in the population is recorded.

At the same time, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is certainly a pioneer in this field of research, which has so far been little researched. For the New Right conveys its nationalist-nationalist ideology through the concepts of "identity" and "resistance" and is increasingly replacing open right-wing extremism. Because the question for us all, Company, Bosses, employees and private persons, the question must be: How is it about living together in our society? And what can we do to improve the social climate?

What shows the new right attitude?


Conspiracy myths about alleged infiltration by Islam, assertion of a dictate of opinion, an abuse of the "establishment" as illegitimate, hypocritical and fraudulent, the demand for national recollection of the EU and the call for resistance to current politics form a coherent, new-right pattern of attitudes , which is represented by nearly 28% of the population.

The further to the right the respondents position themselves, the more they represent this form of new right attitudes. 84% of the AfD voters tend to adjust their attitudes.

Opinions about Islam and refugees


40% of all respondents think that German society is being infiltrated by Islam. More than one in four (28%) thinks: "The ruling parties cheat the people", as many complain: "In Germany you can no longer express your opinion freely without getting in trouble" (28%) and demand: "It's time to show more resistance to current politics" (29%).

In contrast, the mood in the population with regard to the refugees is much more positive than often assumed. The majority of the population in the summer 2016 expressed benevolently or at least in the tendency positive for the admission of refugees in Germany. More than half of the respondents (56%) think the recording is good, some more 24% at least "partly" good and are optimistic that society will manage to cope with the current situation.

Only a minority feels really threatened


Only 20% find it explicitly "not at all" or "not at all" good that Germany has taken in many refugees. A small minority feels personally threatened by refugees in their way of life (6%) or financially (7%), but about a quarter of respondents fear a decline in the standard of living in Germany.

Conflict is the widespread anti-Muslim attitudes (19%) and the acceptance of prejudices against asylum seekers; they increased from 2014 (44%) to 50% in 2016. There is also a high consensus on negative opinions about long-term unemployed people; they are shared by almost half of all respondents (49%).

Differences between West and East Germany


With regard to differences in demographic groups, there are significant differences between East and West German respondents: xenophobia, anti-Muslims, the devaluation of Sinti and Roma, asylum seekers and homeless people are significantly more pronounced in the East.

Also among the approximately 26% adherents of the AfD, there are conspicuously high approval values ​​for prejudiced and right-wing populist opinions. The data confirm: Those who find the ideas of the AfD well have moved significantly to the right compared to 2014. AfD sympathizers are more hostile and more extreme than non-sympathizers. This trend has intensified since the last FES Center study.

Media clamor and split society


The authors of the study also criticize the way the media deal with the topic: "We should not give so much room to the loud minority of xenophobes in the social debates, but pay more attention to the democratically minded majority," says author Beate Küpper. And editor Ralf Melzer of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation adds: "Political education also means supporting and qualifying those who are committed to our core values, compassion and diversity."

Andreas Zick, co-author of the study and leader of the IKG: "Germany is in a ordeal: While many are guided by right-wing populist opinions and have become more aggressive against elites and alleged strangers, others are willing to engage even more for integration. "

The methodology


Facets Group-related human hostility (GMF) have been investigated by the Institute for Interdisciplinary Conflict and Violence Research (IKG) at the University of Bielefeld since 2002. These are devaluation and hostility to social groups.

The resulting ten-volume series of "German States" and the series of since mid-year since 2006 Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung commissioned mid-studies on right-wing attitudes (to 2012 in cooperation with the University of Leipzig) is in the form of the present book merged for the second time after 2014. On the basis of a representative survey for the year 2016, it describes the picture of a divided society. Details of the data base of the representative 2016 survey are:

  • Telephone survey (CATI) of 1.896 representative selected persons with German nationality; Time of interview: June to August 2016;
  • Implementation: Social Science Survey Institute (SUZ), Duisburg
  • Data from a total of 1.015 women (53,5%) and 880 men (46,4%)
  • Age of respondents: 16 - 95 years; Age average: 50,3 years

A summary of the results can also be downloaded here:

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  1. Thomas Eggert

    Social Media, US Election & Hate-Speech: Study on the Social Climate of Simone ... via BERUFEBILDER - Highly recommended 0ovq81eFQT


    Social Media, US Election & Hate-Speech: Study on the Social Climate of Simone ... via BERUFEBILDER - Highly recommended f0TvptNXMq

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