I’m sure many of you have seen the ‘what’s happening last night in Sweden’ footage from the US earlier this month. Rather than dwelling on the politics of the situation I was interested in the use of the @sweden Twitter handle. Until this point I had not come across this account which was set up in 2011 by Curators of Sweden as a project from various Swedish cultural institutions. The idea is simple, every week a new Twitter user gets to manage the @sweden account. The rules are simple too; they have to be an active Twitter user and be a resident of Sweden or a citizen of Sweden living abroad. Hate speech and self promotion are not encouraged but each week the curator can write what they want unless they; violate Swedish law, promote a commercial brand or are a security threat in which case the Tweets can be deleted. The idea is that the world gets to see unedited thoughts, information & content which will show a diversity of opinion and ‘arouse curiosity for Sweden and everything the country has to offer.
This is of course a high risk strategy, open to many pitfalls and there have of course been occasions in the past where the curator has gone ‘rogue’ but overall a brave and interesting one and a tactic which has certainly raised the profile of Sweden over the past few weeks. I can only imagine what Emma Johansson, the school librarian must have thought when the world of Twitter reacted to the words of Trump, it is worth taking a look at her archive if you have 5 minutes to kill.
Picture credit Jon Flobrant, Sweden via Unsplash.com