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TikTok excerpt:

»Do you know what the secret is to me looking so good?

Chicken nuggets and milkshake from Netto.«

At first glance, the well-trained man looks like a normal fitness influencer.

Only at second glance do you notice what it says on his shirt: “Europe Awaken.”

The slogan of a right-wing extremist campaign from the neo-Nazi scene.

And the man on TikTok is a neo-Nazi from Dortmund with multiple convictions.

Theresa Lehmann, Amadeu Antonio Foundation:

»Based on the developments of the last 20 to 25 years, it is actually quite easy to understand that right-wing extremist actors always knew how to use the Internet for their own benefit very early on.

Depending on what was in, which platform was in demand, they were always part of the early adopters and it paid off for them.

That means Tiktok is currently the platform of the moment.

Children and young people have long since become an important target group for right-wing extremist propaganda online.

Between harmless music videos, memes and challenges, political content is increasingly mixed on TikTok.

Excerpt from Hoss and Hopf:

»A party that is now getting stronger because people are fed up with how things are going in this country, and at some point they change and say: I don't feel like being lied to all the time anymore .

And then saying that we’re banning this party in Germany is pretty much the most undemocratic thing you can do.”

Theresa Lehmann, Amadeu Antonio Foundation:

"Especially in times of multiple crises, when young people often feel left alone and not taken into account, this is a gateway."

Theresa Lehmann has been working for the Amadeu Antonio Foundation for three years on how right-wing propaganda works on the social media platform TikTok.

Theresa Lehmann,

Amadeu Antonio Foundation:

»There is definitely an interest on TikTok's part that right-wing extremists are not active there.

But there is nothing they can do about it: There are channels on which no criminally relevant content is made by people who may not have been exposed to any criminal offenses outside of TikTok.

As long as the creators adhere to the community guidelines, their hands are tied.

And that’s where civil society comes into play.

That means counter-speech is important, positioning is important, education is important.«

But how do you recognize right-wing influencers?

Is there a specific TikTok language, features or symbols?

The “No Remembrance Culture” platform explains:

TikTok excerpt @nicht.Erinnerungskultur:

»Quick question: How many right-wing codes do you discover in this comment?

A: three, B: four, C: five or C: none, get out.

The answer is: four.

First we have a waving emoji, a reference to the so-called Hitler salute.

Number two are these two lightning emojis here, which are in turn a reference to the so-called victory runes, the symbol of the Schutzstaffel and are banned in this form in Germany.

The 14 refers to the “Fourteen Words,” a racist creed coined by a US neo-Nazi.

And last but not least, the 88, which stands for the eighth letter in the alphabet.

So HH.

Unhurt …"

Theresa Lehmann


Amadeu Antonio Foundation:

»Right-wing extremists are very inventive when it comes to encoding their hatred.

This could be the shower head, for example.

If I use it in a video that's about wellness, it's completely harmless.

But when this emoji appears in the comments section of a video of a Holocaust survivor doing educational work on TikTok, it has a very clear connotation, and it is a reference to the mass extermination of the Jews.

And that’s what happens with a lot of these emojis.”

TikTok has over 20 million users in Germany, mostly adolescents.

The AfD reaches significantly more people on the platform than all other parties.

One reason is the pointed, polarizing content, which the app's algorithm rewards with widespread distribution.

The AfD's top candidate for the European elections, Maximilian Krah, is also taking advantage of this.

Maximilian Krah, AfD leading candidate for the European elections:

“Be smart yourself: look at good YouTube channels and my TikToks.”

Krah's short videos regularly go viral.

Maximilian Krah, AfD leading candidate for the European elections:

“One in three men has never had a girlfriend.

Are you one of them?

Don't watch porn.

Don't vote for the Greens.

Get outside for some fresh air.

Stand up for yourself, be confident, look straight ahead.

And above all, don't let anyone tell you that you have to be sweet, soft, weak and left-wing.

Real men are on the right.

Real men have ideals.

Real men are patriots.

Then it will work with your girlfriend too.”

Contrary to what parents often think, children and young people don't even have to actively search for videos like those by Maximilian Krah.

Because: TikTok shows every uploaded video randomly to a certain number of people.

If it is liked or even just viewed, it will be added to the timeline of new people.

You don't have to follow a right-wing account, the clips still come.

TikTok's interest is quite banal: users should spend as much time as possible on the platform.

Theresa Lehmann, Amadeu Antonio Foundation:

“This is very attractive for right-wing extremists because a video like this goes viral very quickly without me having to build up a following.

This means that even if my account is deleted and I have to get a new one quickly, there is a good chance that with a few changes I will be able to pick up where I left off relatively well.«

The Candy.afd account will be active on TikTok in mid-April 2021.

At the time, the operator was reportedly 15 years old.

TikTok excerpt @Candy.afd:

“In my last video I made it clear that I prefer the traditional image of women.”

On her account, the young woman repeatedly gives tips on how young people can join Junge Alternative, the AfD's youth organization that is considered right-wing extremist.

TikTok excerpt @Candy.afd:

»If you are still a minor and would like to take part in Junge Alternative, then print out this application.

This is your parents’ declaration of consent and you simply send it to Junge Alternative by email.”

According to TikTok's terms of use, teenagers in Germany aged 13 and over are allowed to use the platform.

But younger children can also easily register as adults when registering.

How can parents keep track of this?

Theresa Lehmann, Amadeu Antonio Foundation:

»As a parent or teacher, I don't have to know every creator or every person, every code, every trend.

If in

doubt, you can't necessarily keep up with it.

But when in doubt, sit down in peace and look at each other, what kind of people are they?

What kind of background do they have, if there is an opportunity to look, does the person belong to an institution or is there perhaps already some reporting about the person?"

Obvious hate speech is rare here.

Humor is a stylistic means of covering up right-wing propaganda.

Depoliticized fun videos - Alice Weidel's environment masters this to perfection.

Theresa Lehmann, Amadeu Antonio Foundation:

"Little videos are uploaded where she laughs, where she dances with her wife in the car."

TikTok excerpt:

»I think trivialization strategy is the key word when we talk about the AfD on TikTok.

Come across as approachable, harmless and friendly as possible.

We are the caretakers.

We're not as bad as the media says.

That's all a lie.

We're quite nice.


If parents want to know which videos their children are suggested on TikTok and ultimately consume, the platform offers a so-called “companion account”.

They explain how this works on their homepage.

But this is certainly not the solution to the problem of right-wing propaganda on the platform.

Theresa Lehmann, Amadeu Antonio Foundation:

“What frightens me is that other actors from civil society, but also from politics, have obviously fallen behind and obviously cannot make these offers and are not there for young people, I believe , it has a lot to do with the skepticism towards the platform.

And it is also the fault of democratic actors that it could even come to this.”