A German YouTuber Tried To Make His Far-Right Hashtag Go Viral And It Was A Huge Flop

Turns out it's actually not that easy to hijack an election with memes.

Last week, far-right German YouTuber Nikolai Alexander, who makes videos under the name Reconquista Germanica, invited his 33,000 subscribers to a newly launched Discord server.

Alexander says in his 17-minute video that he wants all his supporters to join the Reconquista Germanica Discord server because it makes it easier to coordinate online attacks.

Moderators of the server regularly make it clear to new users that the server's main goal is to support AfD.

According to the organizers, around 1,500 members gathered there over the weekend.

Last week, BuzzFeed News found a public gallery of memes pro-AfD trolls on 4chan planned to use in the lead-up to the election.

That same gallery of memes was shared on the Reconquista Germanica Discord sever. The channels "AfD Memes" and "Old Party Memes" link to the meme galleries from 4chan, which they refer to as "ammunition."

The memes then spread to Twitter during Sunday's debate via sock puppet accounts the chatroom's members have been setting up over the last week.

Users discussed how they don't want to rely on the help of Twitter bots, but would prefer if each person simply uses one to three Twitter accounts to push the memes.

On Sunday, Alexander addressed the room, calling on members to attack the debate on Twitter and promote the hashtag #VerräterDuell ("traitor debate").

Except the plan didn't work super well. Alexander's #VerräterDuell tweets tended to be the most viral on Twitter Sunday night, but still only racked up a few hundred retweets.

Einen guten Roten erkennt man an seinem Abgang. #Verräterduell #Reconquista #TeamAfD #HöckeForKanzler… https://t.co/o4Mi4qLunQ

Most of his tweets targeted left-wing candidate Martin Schulz.

Ruft doch mal! Ruft doch mal Martin! #Kanzlerduell #Verräterduell #Schulz #TeamAfD #Reconquista

For the most part trolls just flooded already-trending hashtags like #KanzlerDuell ("chancellor debate") and #TVDuell ("TV debate"), pushing right-wing fan art into already-trending topics on German Twitter.

Overall, though, it was a pretty weak showing. The members of the Discord server didn't appear to realize that newly made accounts are typically blocked from pushing trending topics on Twitter.

#KanzlerDuell #tvduell #VerräterDuell #btw17 Altparteien = Volksverrat

After basically failing to do anything meaningful on Twitter, Alexander addressed the Discord server again after the debate.

This post was translated from German.