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Mr. Burkhard Even, head of Germany’s counter-intelligence agency BfV declared that during and before the elections the political parties have survived widespread attempts both by Russian media outlets and hackers to influence the election. He also admitted that on election day itself there was "low-level propaganda which did not have a significant impact on voters ".
Security officials of his organization said they were interested in one particular fake tweet of Michael Link, former director of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which stated that the 3.15 million new German citizens (a common definition used to mean “immigrants”) had voted for Merkel's CDU/CSU party. The tweet was apparently shared thousands of times on election Sunday.
Merkel did indeed win the election but her party lost 8% versus the previous result and because of the nationalist AfD’s strong result, the German Chancellor is left with a very difficult coalition forming indeed.
Mr. Even stated: "The German parliamentary election … was spared major attacks, but I must point out that even after an election such attempts are possible, for instance in trying to discredit officials or in trying to affect the forging of a new government. I don't think it affected the election as a whole or that the election outcome was affected by several percentage points. But there was an attempt and the risks are enormous. And the risk is rising not diminishing."
The nationalist AfD, which has called for stronger ties to Russia and, importantly, for a lifting of European sanctions on Moscow, got strong support from Russian social media posters all week before the election.
Facebook Germany admitted this Wednesday that it had taken down tens of thousands of fake profiles in the month of September alone to ensure that the popular social media network could no longer be used to influence the decision in anyone’s favor.
Meanwhile, Angela Merkel has contacted the other parties for an eventual coalition and ask them what they would like in return for being part of her next government. Merkel's CDU/CSU party gained just 33% of the vote, its lowest share since 1949, and she will need the support of other political parties to continue ruling Germany.