Yesterday at The Lede, J. David Goodman reported on a Swedish “social media experiment” gone questionably awry. Since December, the Swedish Institute, the country’s government tourist agency, has been running “Curators of Sweden,” a “democratic,” nationwide Twitter account, “with a different social media-literate Swede posting anything he or she wants without oversight or censorship each week.” This week, Sonja Abrahamsson, a 27-year-old writer from northern Sweden, wrote several posts about Jews that many found offensive. Goodman writes:
“Whats the fuzz with jews,” she posted on Tuesday. “You can’t even see if a person is a jew, unless you see their penises, and even if you do, you can’t be sure!?” She later posted along the same lines two minutes later: “In nazi German they even had to sew stars on their sleeves. If they didn’t, they could never now who was a jew and who was not a jew.”
Her posts drew immediate scrutiny to the account that, despite its freewheeling nature and occasional casual discussions of sex and other hot-button issues, had until then received mostly favorable attention in Sweden and beyond.
Patrick Kampmann, the creative director at the advertising agency that developed the project, said that none of the posts had thus far been taken down. He declined to comment on Ms. Abrahamsson’s posts, and wrote in an e-mail message, “we never comment on any individual tweets, or curators. (There has been a few since the start, both curators and their thousands and thousands of tweets…)” […]
Ms. Abrahamsson had previously wondered about the limits of acceptable speech in a column for the Swedish news site Nyheter24 last month, arguing for the expression of “sensitive” issues. “Otherwise, we learn that unpleasant things belong out in the woods and if you shout out unpleasant thoughts in the woods, the risk is quite high that you will only get a response from a dog far, far away.”
The immediate backlash against her comments prompted Ms. Abrahamsson less than an hour later to write that, being from rural Sweden, she did not know many Jews and she apologized “if some of you find the question offensive.”
“Thats was not my purpose,” she added, appearing to explain herself. “I just don’t get why some people hates jews so much.”
Read the full article here.