All You Need is Love? An analysis of the election campaign of the Green Party in 2021 on Facebook.
Keywords:Online Federal Election, Digital Campaign, Facebook, Green Party, Reactions
The 2021 federal election in Germany was very different from previous elections. For the first time, the environmental party, The Greens, ran a candidate for chancellor. In addition, the election campaign was increasingly digital due to the Corona pandemic. Citizens increasingly turned to the internet for information. In this context, Facebook was the most used social network for reading, sharing, and discussing political news. This paper examines the Green Party's use of Facebook during the election campaign to identify characteristics of their communication behaviour and user reactions. The empirical investigation is carried out by means of a qualitative content analysis according to Mayring. In the period from 01/04 to 26/09/2021 a total of 251 posts of the Green Party were analysed. The tool Fanpage Karma was used for this purpose. Based on the number of posts, relevant topics of the online election campaign were identified. We also looked at how often and with which reactions users responded to the party's posts. The results of the study show that the 2021 chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock plays a prominent role. She is mentioned in 30.68% of all posts. In addition, environmental policy, the party's core issue, takes up a comparatively large amount of space with a total of 111 posts (44.22%). Of these, 39.84% deal with climate-related issues. The results of the analysis also show that the party has a broader range of topics. Social issues are mentioned in 38.65% of the posts and the image of being a ‘single-issue party’ is being shed to some extent. It can also be seen that The Greens, who are among the winners of the 2021 election, publish a comparatively low number of posts. At the same time, they receive the second-most ‘Love’ reactions, and the most ‘Loves’ per post. The study shows Facebook's status in the online election campaign of the German environmental party in the 2021 federal election. It provides information about the scope of use and topic setting on the social platform. At the same time, the results show to what extent and with what reactions the posts have been addressed.
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