Podcast: Could German elections be the next target of ‘fake news’?

This week’s episode of ‘World View’ also looks at the prospect of a truce in Syria

German chancellor Angela Merkel during the New Year reception  at Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany. File photograph: Felipe Trueba/EPA

German chancellor Angela Merkel during the New Year reception at Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany. File photograph: Felipe Trueba/EPA

 

At the height of the migrant crisis in Europe in summer 2015, German chancellor Angela Merkel met Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and asked him what was being done about false reports about refugees that were appearing on his social network. He said he was working on it.

In 2017, the issue of such “fake news” is seen as an even greater threat to centrist politics.

A general election will take place in Germany this year and some Germans fear that false reports on social media platforms will be used as a weapon in that campaign, as in last year’s bruising US presidential election.

On today’s World View podcast, our Berlin correspondent Derek Scally looks at the issue, and looks at the changes the German government expects from social media platforms.

Also on the podcast, our Middle East correspondent Michael Jansen discusses the prospects for peace in Syria in 2017 in the wake of the fall of Aleppo.

She examines the main players in the conflict and considers where their loyalties really lie.