The attack on the Capitol in Washington and the storming of the Reichstag in Berlin not only revealed the fragility of democracy in the USA and Germany, but also a frightening helplessness and a lack of understanding of the mobilization potential of anti-democratic forces in the digital age.
In the days that followed these events, "how could this happen?" was one of the most frequently asked questions.
The Center for Monitoring, Analysis and Strategy (CeMAS) will act as an early warning system against digital conspiracy ideologies, antisemitism, disinformation and right-wing extremism in the digital realm. As a first of its kind in German-speaking Europe it combines multi-method monitoring with scientific expertise in order to systematically classify and analyze communication in digital spaces such as Telegram or YouTube.
Led by Pia Lamberty, PhD Researcher in Social and Legal Psychology and Josef Holnburger, a data scientist specialising in conspiracy ideologies, an integrated team of experts (co-founders: Rocio Rocha, Miro Dittrich and Jan Rathje) in psychology, political science, linguistics, cognitive science and new media, will produce proprietary innovative study designs, regular reports and detailed evaluations to support and quantify their findings. Through identifying far-right trends and movements at an early stage, CeMAS will be able to provide evidence-based and theory-driven advice to politicians, investigative authorities and the media in order to prevent future attacks and assaults.
As a part of its mission to protect the future of democratic spaces, the Alfred Landecker Foundation supports CeMAS’ non-profit activities as exclusive founding partner with 2.8 million euros from 2021 – 2024 – to form the Landecker re|con project as a part of CeMAS.