7 types of misinformation in the German election

In the months before the Bundestag election, there was a lot of fear that disinformation might influence voters. It is clear that the worst-case scenario has not become reality: expertsgenerallyagree that such information did not largely affect the election outcome.

But misinformation still made headlines. Moreover, this content still contributes to our understanding of what kinds of false and misleading information emerges about elections. This is critical to understand if we want to be better prepared for the next election in which mis- or dis-information does play a significant role.

The Polish Health Ministry has commissioned a controversial TV commercial urging Poles to have more children. In the video, which is already online, a rabbit offers simple tips for producing more offspring. Commentators see this as an insult to the Poles’ intelligence that reduces human coexistence to a matter of sexual reproduction.
Germany’s top legal body, the Federal Constitutional Court, has ruled that there must be the option of entering a third gender on birth certificates. It justified the decision saying that gender identity is a central aspect of an individual’s personality and people cannot be forced to identify with one of only two categories: male or female. What some media see as a historical decision will only generate excessive bureaucracy, others argue.
Here’s what pro-independence protesters in Catalonia have been singing about.

Rajoy sacks Catalan government, calls snap election

Spain on Friday (27 October) sacked Catalonia’s regional government, dissolved the Catalan parliament and called a snap election in the region for 21 December, in a bid to draw a line under Spain’s worst political crisis in 40 years.
Mariano Rajoy begins imposing direct rule over Catalonia after its push for independence

Debate: France ends state of emergency

Two years after the Paris terrorist attacks of November 2015 France has ended the state of emergency declared in their aftermath. However, with the new security legislation that has simultaneously come into effect many emergency powers will become law. Commentators discuss whether the French should get used to their civil freedoms being curtailed.
Students walk out in protest after lecturer suggests a Muslim woman should remove her headscarf.

Yesterday, the Catalonian parliament declared independence from Spain; today, the central government in Madrid made good on its promise to impose direct rule on the region, firing the top tier of the government and the chiefs of the police force; Josep Lluís Trapero Álvarez, chief of the regional police force (Mossos d’Esquadra) has been charged with sedition for refusing to block polling places during the independence referendum earlier this week

Pirates enter another parliament: Congratulations to the Czech Pirate Party!

Czech Republic: The Czech Pirate Party is entering Parliament at an estimated 9.7% with half the votes counted. The Czech pirates have fought long and hard, and overcome frustrating setbacks like missing the parliamentary threshold by just 0.2% in the last election. Congratulations to Ivan Bartoš, Mikuláš Ferjenčík, Jakub Michálek, and the entire Czech team!

The Czech Pirates have made quite a name for themselves in recent years.

The political party previously took on a local anti-piracy outfit by launching their own movie download sites, making the point that linking is not a crime.

Hundreds of thousands amass in Barcelona after Spanish government announces plan to sack Catalonia’s separatist leaders.

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