Pro-Trump Americans Tweet For A Le Pen Presidency In France
American Twitter accounts are using the #JeVote hashtag to promote the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen
Right-wing Americans are joining their far-right French compatriots in a social media campaign to swing Sunday’s unprecedented presidential elections in favor of the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. Under the hashtag #JeVoteMarine, #IVoteMarine, American social media users are expressing optimism at a wave of “patriotism” — or nativist populism — that’s sweeping across Europe as far-right parties make unprecedented political gains.
Through network analysis tools NodeXL and Gephi, Vocativ found that several American fan accounts of President Trump featured prominently among the 10,000 social media users tweeting under the #JeVote hashtag. They include accounts like @TEN_GOP, which calls itself the “unofficial Twitter of Tennessee Republicans;” and @BasedMonitored, which described Sunday’s tight vote as a choice between “Marine Le Pen or Civil War/Islam.”
— Tennessee (@TEN_GOP) April 22, 2017
The American accounts were found to be even more influential than Le Pen’s own official account, @MLP_Officiel, and the official Wikileaks Twitter account @Wikileaks, which has been fervently tweeting in favor of Le Pen.
According to the most recent polls, Marine Le Pen, the leader of the once-fringe National Front party, is polling neck in neck against the independent-centrist Emmanuel Macron. In the four-horse race, she is also facing off against Francois Fillon, the once-favored conservative candidate whose popularity has plummeted in the wake of a corruption scandal, and the Communist-backed far-leftist candidate, Jean-Luc Melenchon.
Le Pen and Macron are expected to continue on to the next round of voting on May 7.
Marine Le Pen, a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, has promised to revive France’s stagnating economy, deport all undocumented immigrants, and “Frexit” the European Union. She and her supporters have waged much of their outreach on social media, which they’ve prioritized over the country’s mainstream media that they accuse of holding bias against Maine Le Pen and her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the party’s founder and a notorious Holocaust denier.
Following Friday’s terror attack in Paris, in which a convicted criminal and ISIS supporter, Karim Cheurfi, gunned down a policeman on the iconic Champs Elysees boulevard, Trump tweeted that “the people of France will not take much more of this.” He told the Associated Press that Le Pen was the “strongest on borders, and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France.”
Another terrorist attack in Paris. The people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2017
American social media users with pro-Trump sympathies have already been accused of meddling in the French election, having reportedly imitated French social media users in order to support Marine Le Pen and bash her rivals in closed chatrooms, according to a January Buzzfeed report. Those chats often included cutout graphics for ready-made memes, the report said.
On Sunday, many of the influential American social media users tweeted in French, promoting the mottos disseminated throughout Le Pen’s tumultuous campaign.
— WillThornton-Gay👌🏻 (@willtg_ghs) April 23, 2017
Translation: Save your people, France! Vote National Front! #JeVote #JeVoteMarine
VOTE ♡♡♡ @MLP_officiel
— Kristin Billitere (@SpecialKMB1969) April 22, 2017
Translation: To bring back order to France. For our security and in order to defeat Islamic terrorism. #JeVoteMarine