Ahead of this week's EU elections, the popular German Youtuber Rezo published a 55-minute video explaining the missteps of the ruling CDU party and other establishment parties in addressing climate change, inequality, rising militarism, and internet freedom (notably, the German support for the wildly unpopular Copyright Directive), a statement he backed up with hundreds of references.
The video caught the German public's mood, attracting 12,000,000+ views and inspiring a coalition of German Youtubers who released a joint statement co-signed by 90 people denouncing the ruling parties and calling on Germans to back minority parties with better track records on these issues, like the German Greens (the statements warned Germans away from the far-right AfD party and its right wing allies as well as the centrist parties).
Then came the EU elections, in which the CDU and other mainstream parties took a horrible pasting, while the Greens surged.
This so infuriated CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer that she publicly denounced the Youtubers and promised a "very aggressive discussion" about what sort of measures could prevent people from complaining about their political masters in the future. In service to this mission, Kramp-Karrenbauer faxed the party's board to invite them to a seminar on dealing with "asymmetric campaign leadership" in the future.
Here's what Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, leader of the CDU, said about those YouTubers who offered their views on which party people should vote for:
What would actually have happened in this country, if a group of 70 newspaper editorials had made a joint appeal two days before the election: "please do not vote for the CDU or the SPD". That would have been a clear case of spin before the election, and would have led to heated debates in this country. And the question arises with regard to the issue of spin: what exactly are the rules from the analog domain, and which rules apply to the digital sector, yes or no? That's a question we will discuss. And that's why this discussion will be very aggressive.
In other words, how dare these impertinent youngsters criticize what their elders and betters are doing? Let's bring in some new rules for the Internet to stop that happening again.