>> Ahead of Germany's upcoming election, the far right are making themselves heard on Twitter. A study has found of 1 million tweets tracked, around 30% are tied to the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party. The AFD are polling around 10%, and are on course for their first ever seat in parliament.
But if they get there, it's unlikely to be solely because of their Twitter campaigning. The social media site isn't as widely used in Germany as in the US or Britain. And the Oxford University study also claims German users are more averse to fake news than their US counterparts were in the lead up to Donald Trump's presidential win.
Nonetheless, the spread of misinformation has been a major concern for the German government. The hacking and suspicious news leaks suspected of influencing the US and French elections have hung over this vote. But so far, government officials and security experts say they've largely failed to materialize.>> There are incentives present to interfere.
That said, it's been a present part of the German political debate. All the parties have kind of agreed, essentially, not to take any of this bait, if it were to emerge. There's an awareness throughout the national security institutions in Germany that this could be a potential threat.>> But that doesn't rule out a last minute change.
Authorities note a major email leak for French President Emmanuel Macron didn't appear until just before the vote. And vulnerabilities in some German voting software have been recently exposed by researchers. Offline, and the campaign appears to be going Angela Merkel's way. The German chancellor is going for her fourth term in office, and is forecast to get just that.
But the margins will count. A coalition is on the cards. Any underhand interference still risks having a major impact on the outcome.>>