The Atlantic

Europe’s Far-Right Leaders Are Using Facebook to Transcend Borders

Captioned in English, sponsored by the Hungarian government, promoted to social-media users in Greece: A video about a Belgian politician represents a new trend in the spread of illiberalism.
Source: Thanassis Stavrakis / AP

ATHENS—Late last year, a video titled “Time to Shake Up Brussels!” appeared in my Facebook News Feed. It depicted images of violence, painted refugees and Muslims as a threat to the Continent, and laid blame with a Belgian politician who has consistently been seen by both his supporters and his critics as a proponent of migration and liberalism.

In some ways, the video, though objectionable, was unremarkable: Campaigning for European Parliament elections, set to be held this week, was beginning to ramp up, and my native Greece, still grappling with the aftermath of an economic crisis, was trying to deal with the consequences of the refugee crisis, more than 1 million people

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min readPolitics
How Britain Came to Accept a ‘No-Deal Brexit’
The debate over Britain leaving the European Union has polarized the country and normalized what was previously unthinkable.
The Atlantic9 min readPolitics
Abolishing the Filibuster Is Unavoidable for Democrats
Even if the party sweeps Congress and the White House in 2020, the Senate rule would let a faction of the reddest, whitest states stymie its agenda.
The Atlantic4 min read
This Way Up Is a Bountiful Binge Watch
Hulu’s latest British import is a delightful, openhearted comedy about a woman recovering from a nervous breakdown.