The Murder of Keira. Misinformation and Hate Speech as Far-Right Online Strategies
A young girl has been murdered in Berlin 2018. But before the police can commence its investigation, the German-speaking alternative right has identified the perpetrator - or at least his origin. The case of the 14-year-old Keira is eagerly absorbed in right-wing echo chambers. The comments surrounding the case of Keira's murder shine a light on the argumentative and functional logics within far-right echo chambers. The first part of this article analyzes these chambers to demonstrate, how rumors and »fake news« are used purposefully to strengthen right-wing narratives, threaten minorities, erode social cohesion and thus pose a threat to democracy itself. The second part of the article shows the reactions to this threat by the German state as well as providers of social networks, the remaining loopholes, and which promising counter strategies can help empower actors within civil society.