Days after the New York Times chronicled Sweden’s plans to hand its Twitter account over to a new citizen each week, the idea seems to have hit a PR snag. This week’s tweeter, a 27-year-old mother named Sonja Abrahamsson, appears to have some serious confusion about Jewish people.
Earlier today, Ms. Abrahamsson tweeted the following: “Whats the fuzz with jews? You can’t see if a person is a jew, unless you see their penises, and even if you do, you cant be sure!?” Uhh…yikes. Also of note? Her official profile, which (jokingly?) lists her nickname as “Hitler.”
Ms. Abrahamsson is the second public figure to incite a howl of WTFs after wondering aloud (on the Internet) why some people are not big fans of Jewish people. Business Insider founder Henry Blodget did the same thing recently, only in his case, it seemed to be inspired less by painfully un-PC clueless and more by pageviews.
Ms. Abrahamsson’s tweets do raise important questions about government censorship, and point to the inherent dangers of entrusting strangers with an account that ostensibly operates as a PR machine, blasting messages about the kinds of people who make up Sweden to over 35,000 followers.
Tommy Sollén, social media manager at VisitSweden, spoke with the Wall Street Journal about the country’s view on Ms. Abrahamsson’s tweets:
Swedes frown on censorship, Mr. Sollén said, and to selectively delete posts or ban a particular participant could be seen as blatant censorship. “You cannot look at any specific tweet, you can only judge a curator on the whole week…How else are you going to show the multi-faceted people that Sweden is composed of?”
In the end, @Sweden still does exactly what it’s supposed to: showcase the people that make Sweden tick. Unfortunately, some of those people make you wonder about the definition of anti-semitism.