Sweden Pulls The Plug On Popular, Citizen-Run Twitter Experiment

Sweden Pulls The Plug On Popular, Citizen-Run Twitter Experiment

In 2011, the country became the first in the world to hand over its official Twitter account to citizens.

From “the masturbating Swede” to the trolling of President Donald Trump, Sweden’s citizen-run Twitter account has never been a stranger to controversy. But after nearly seven years of Swedes tweeting as the voice of their nation, the Curators of Sweden project will come to an end.

Launched in December 2011 as an initiative of the Swedish Institute and VisitSweden, the project aimed to present the Scandinavian country through the eyes of its citizens. Each week, a new person would take control of the @sweden Twitter account and tweet whatever they wanted. When the project officially comes to an end this month, 365 people will have posted about 200,000 tweets on @sweden.

Citizen commentary was given fairly wide latitude; tweets were only deleted if they violated Swedish law, promoted a commercial brand or presented a security threat. And over time, its popularity grew. At the time of this writing, more than 146,000 people from around the world follow the account.

In 2017, Max Karlsson tweeted about Trump’s false suggestion that Sweden had suffered a terror attack.

Might as well do a stand along tweet about this… Since I'm being swamped with questions about Trump's speech.

— @sweden / Daniel (@sweden) February 19, 2017

No. Nothing has happened here in Sweden. There has not ben any terrorist attacks here. At all. The main news right now is about Melfest. ->

— @sweden / Erik (@sweden) February 19, 2017

-> What Trump might be referring to is an interview done in Foxe News where a documentary film maker, Ami Horowitz, talks about Sweden ->

— @sweden / Daniel (@sweden) February 19, 2017

-> and he to missunderstanding how things work here. So it's incorrect information on top of incorrect information.

— @sweden / Daniel (@sweden) February 19, 2017

Let's be clear: a lot happened #lastnightinsweden. Things happen all of the time. Just not the things @realdonaldtrump are spreading.

— @sweden / Daniel (@sweden) February 20, 2017

The account caused controversy in 2012 when Sonja Abrahamsson asked:

Whats the fuzz with jews. 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!?

— @sweden / Daniel (@sweden) June 12, 2012

And this August, Seth Everman brightened the days of Sweden’s followers with his humorous tweets:

Quick Swedish language lesson: It is a language spoken by some people in Sweden

— @sweden / Daniel (@sweden) August 14, 2018

Some facts about the Danish language: I do not understand it

— @sweden / Daniel (@sweden) August 14, 2018

Hello and welcome to the official Switzerland twitter page!

— @sweden / Daniel (@sweden) August 15, 2018

wait no

— @sweden / Daniel (@sweden) August 15, 2018

Fun fact: Sweden has a population of 10 million and yet I can't find a single friend

— @sweden / Daniel (@sweden) August 18, 2018

“Curators of Sweden was a groundbreaking initiative when it was launched,” said Anna Rudels of the Swedish Institute. “We are truly grateful to all the curators who have been a part of this project over the years ― they have been the heart and soul of Curators of Sweden, and without them this unique project wouldn’t have been possible.”


David Barden

Editor, HuffPost Australia
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