The CDU member of the state parliament, Detlef Gürth, has accused the AfD of often using speeches in parliament for exploitation on social media rather than for political debate. Gürth told the German Press Agency that he had the impression that the AfD often took its speeches for "third parties in the digital universe". "The aim is to pick up on resentment and increase it."
A real discourse with the exchange of arguments and a struggle for the best solution is often not recognizable in the AfD. The party uses the parliamentary hall as a "stage" for social media, according to Gürth, who has been a member of the state parliament since 1990 and is thus Saxony-Anhalt's longest-serving member of parliament.
The AfD parliamentary group has significantly more followers on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter than the other groups. On individual platforms, the AfD sometimes even has as many followers as all other factions combined. On Facebook, for example, the AfD faction has around 46,000 followers, where the other factions each have fewer than 4,000 followers. She has 23,000 subscribers on YouTube.
AfD co-group leader Ulrich Siegmund rejected Gürth's criticism. "This allegation is unfounded," said Siegmund. He always faces the debate and argues with data and facts. "The fact that our posts then also have good responses in the social media is, for me, further confirmation that we are often going in the right direction." He tries to convey the political situation in an understandable way. "A lot of people seem to like that I say what they think."
The Magdeburg extremism expert David Begrich from the association Miteinander said that the AfD operates a certain form of "narrative of normality". Siegmund and his colleagues presented themselves as standing for "normal". The goals of the political competitors, on the other hand, are portrayed as abnormal. The pattern works through emotionalization, personalization and complexity reduction. "This is intended to call off certain resentments," said Begrich.