BERLIN, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- German populist party AfD has accused Google of sabotaging its digital campaign in the final stage of the German elections, the magazine SPIEGEL reported on Tuesday.
Thor Kunkel, head of the AfD campaign, has hired U.S. specialist firm Harris Media based in Texas to manage the digital campaign and is now complaining that significant parts of the AfD campaign were blocked by Google.
"We do not have problems with any other platform," says Kunkel, adding, "Google is sabotaging us, disadvantaging us in the political competition."
With practically all German parties paying campaign money to Google, Facebook and Twitter, this is the first time that U.S. internet companies are playing such a central role during the German election. According to Kunkel, AfD had originally planned to spend a five-digit figure on advertising its anti-Merkel website alone.
Harris Media and Google's adword team have exchanged various emails that SPIEGEL has access to. In these emails titled "Problem-Reports" or "advertisement declined", Google is saying that the AfD content is designed to "hoax the customer" as well as to publicize "dangerous and derogatory content".
Campaign chief Kunkel calls Google's behavior an "improper interference with the forming of the political will", and vowed to retaliate by boycotting Google in return, instead investing the planned budget in Facebook advertisement.
Google confirmed on Monday that the AfD text advertisements are approved by now but that the advertisement video in question was still blocked.