Gaffe Gone Viral Merkel Mocked for Calling Internet 'Neuland'
Chancellor Merkel described the Internet as "uncharted territory" on Wednesday while answering a question about the Prism spying program at an appearance with US President Obama. Now "Neuland" is a fully formed meme, and Merkel's gaff has gone viral.
While Barack Obama's whirlwind visit to Berlin largely resulted in good publicity for the president, his German counterpart, Chancellor Angela Merkel, wasn't so lucky. A comment she made during a joint press conference on Wednesday has gone viral in Germany and been met with a wave of ridicule on Twitter.
When asked about her response to the Prism data spying scandal involving the National Security Agency (NSA), Chancellor Merkel commented that the Internet is "Neuland" -- uncharted territory -- "for all of us."
Within minutes, #Neuland was trending on Twitter, and as of Thursday morning, the meme continues to grow, inspiring custom images, gifs and countless cracks at the chancellor, who is up for re-election in September.
"A new era has begun -- The Internet has finally reached Germany!!" tweeted @S_ButterFinger.
"Angela Merkel at Obama meeting: 'The Internet is virgin soil [#Neuland] for all of us.' How distant can politics get?" added @jerryweyer on the social media platform.
Sigmar Gabriel, the leader of the opposition center-left Social Democrats, used the gaff as an occasion to poke fun at the Christian Democratic chancellor. "I actually feel quite good for the most part in this #Neuland," he tweeted on Wednesday.
Merkel's spokesman took to the Web in Merkel's defense, tweeting that she was talking about a "legal and political Neuland."