How a youtube star hurt a government party

The Video was about an hour long and featured one of Germany´s most popular youtube stars, „Rezo“.

The youtuber, who had always been non-political, quite a fun guy, talked to his fan base for about an hour about climate change. He did so, from the start, in connection with dire warnings about which parties NOT to vote for – those of the center and those of the right or extreme right.

In Germany´s political spectrum, that left more or less just the parties of the extreme left – the „green party“ and a post-communist party.

The video was published on a weekend just one week before an important election sunday, where Germans cast their votes both for the EU parliament as well as for their local administrations.

It had a huge impact and was viewed one million times on the first day, and until the elections approximately five million times. It might be called one of the most influential political YT videos in German history.

The conservative party was taken totally by surprise and, in the wake of the sensation, made about every PR mistake conceivable, gainsaying the contents, attacking the popular youtuber, misrepresenting his facts (which were promptly confirmed by respectable scientists, who were only too glad to finally be heard by conservatives.

Shortly before the elections, the public discussion had more or less transformed into a climate change frenzy. The elections were suddenly not simply a vote, but the decision about life on earth.

There was an absolute landslide in the election, with the green party not only doubling, but quadrupling their results in some communities and winning their best election result in Germany ever (22 %).

In the aftermath, conservatives were suggesting to control (or censor) youtube videos in the future, which was taken as a direct attack on free speech from the online community.

In short – and as neutral as I can possibly be – the video marked the beginning of a new age in Germany, where online publications by private citizens have the power to influence elections on a large scale. Also, it was shown that, even in 2019, conservative politicians in Germany are unable to anticipate or even adequately react to online phenomena.

The youtuber Rezo was, and may be for some time, the most talked-about person in Germany.

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