Alternative for Germany party (AfD) board member Maximilian Krah is being stifled by TikTok. EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN


TikTok clips wings of AfD lead politician Krah


Maximilian Krah, who leads the European Parliament vote list for Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party, has apparently been stifled by TikTok.

The Chinese state-owned social media site will no longer display the politician in its “For You Feed”, German news outlet Der Spiegel reported on March 19.

By banning his videos from that feed, it is close to impossible for Krah to “go viral” on the platform.

TikTok claimed Krah had committed “repeated violations of our Community Guidelines”. The throttling of the reach applies immediately for a total period of 90 days, the company said.

According to Der Spiegel, Krah is said to have abused the platform’s rules with homophobic statements, agitation against refugees and making statements relating to the conspiracy theory of the so-called great population exchange.

Krah and the AfD are hugely popular on social media. In particular on TikTok, the AfD is a bigger hitter than the other political parties in Germany.

On that platform, Krah regularly reached millions of people with his right-wing messaging.

One video, that has had at least 1.4 million views, targeted young males with the assertion: “One in three young men has never had a girlfriend. Are you one of them?

“Don’t watch porn, don’t vote for the Greens … and above all, don’t let anyone tell you that you have to be lovely, soft, weak and left-wing.

“Real men are right-wing.”

Despite such, since the start of March, Krah’s apparent popularity has significantly waned. Some of his videos have been banned outright.

Ironically, perhaps, Krah is often accused of being too close to the Chinese regime. That does not appear to have been the case in this instance.

In February, German broadcaster ZDF reported that TikTok videos by the official channel of the AfD parliamentary group reached an average of 430,000 impressions per episode between January 2022 and December 2023. The Liberal party came in at around 53,000, the other parties were further behind.

Political consultant Johannes Hillje, who has previously worked as a campaign manager for the Greens, said the AfD operates the most effective social media communication of all German parties.

ZDF noted it boasts more than double the number of Facebook followers than other political parties. On YouTube, such parties struggle with subscriber counts below 30,000, whereas the AfD surpasses them by more than tenfold in certain instances.

When it comes to average views-per-YouTube video, the AfD averages close to 37,000 impressions, the Christian Social Union barely manages to top 10,000 and others are lucky to earn 5,000 views per video.

In terms of Instagram followers, the AfD is behind the Greens but, experts say, has many more “active” fans.