back to top
World

German Conservatives Created A Fake Tweet From Merkel's Key Opponent

A political youth organization for conservative German parties faked a tweet from Merkel's socialist opponent.

Posted on

The Young Union of Bavaria, a political youth organization for conservative German parties, posted an image of a fake tweet from socialist politician Martin Schulz on its Facebook page.

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Schulz is the leader of the Social Democratic Party. He heads the opposition and is widely seen as Angela Merkel's main competitor in the upcoming September elections.

The Facebook post included two tweets, one real and one fake. The first tweet appears under the headline, "What Martin Schulz is tweeting." The tweet in the screenshot says, "The pictures from Hamburg are shocking. Riots don’t have anything to do with politics. The offenders have to take responsibility."

Facebook: JUBayern / Via Facebook: JUBayern

The headline over the second, fake tweet says, "What Martin Schulz is up to." The text of the tweet reads, "We don’t think that left extremism is a huge deal. That’s why we want to govern with their advocates after September."

The caption posted alongside the image criticized Schultz for the second tweet. "Martin Schulz distanced himself from the left-wing extremism over the weekend in Hamburg, but wants to form a new coalition with the defenders of these madmen in autumn. We must prevent this together!"

How can you tell it's fake? What makes the tweets different is the accounts from which they were supposedly posted. The second tweet was posted by "@therealMartinSchulz."

The font for the Twitter usernames in the screenshots is too small to read on mobile, so if someone read the post on their phone they likely wouldn't notice the different account names for the tweets.

The Young Union admitted to BuzzFeed News that the second tweet was doctored. The organization's managing director, Stephan Ebner, said "the second tweet is clearly an exaggeration."

csu.de

"It is obvious that the second tweet is not a real quote, as the second tweet has been sent by an account named 'TheRealMartinSchulz,'" he said.

Read this post in German.

CORRECTION

Stephan Ebner's name was misspelled in a previous version of this post.

Jane Lytvynenko is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada. PGP fingerprint: A088 89E6 2500 AD3C 8081 BAFB 23BA 21F3 81E0 101C.

Contact Jane Lytvynenko at jane.lytvynenko@buzzfeed.com.

Karsten Schmehl ist Senior Staff Writer bei BuzzFeed und lebt in Berlin.

Contact Karsten Schmehl at karsten.schmehl@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.