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Sweden Experiments With Public Twitter Takeover 64

revealingheart writes "BBC reports that Sweden is allowing one citizen per week to take control of its official Twitter feed, in what's been described as 'the world's most democratic Twitter experiment.' Adam Arnesson, a 21-year-old organic sheep farmer, is said to be the biggest star of the project so far, uploading photos and videos of life on his family's farm; while a female minister in the Church of Sweden and a Bosnian immigrant have also posted on the feed. The Swedish Institute and VisitSweden launched the experiment in December, which has helped to double Sweden's Twitter followers in the past month."
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Sweden Experiments With Public Twitter Takeover

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  • by bonch ( 38532 ) * on Sunday January 15, 2012 @03:34AM (#38704090)

    Cool! Let's check out the Twitter feed.

    "Open-mindedness often shines like a bright flower in a blurry landscape of prejudices."

    ...aaaaand it's as douchey as every other Twitter feed ever.

    • There's another kind?

    • Agreed. Based on the summary it sounded like a cool idea, but there's a lot of random trivial crap on that feed too. If they were basically tweeting biographies with interesting pictures of daily life from these normal people it would have interested me, but I don't need to know this:

      Went to bed with wet hair. Looking very funny at the moment after a night's sleep. Playing with the thought to keep it like that for today.


      Had vague plans to go dancing lindyhop this evening, but somehow I ended up contemplating the encounters from today.

      and that seems like most of the content on the feed.

    • by linhux ( 104645 )

      Apart from your strange definition of "douchey", you obviously didn't look very far. The whole point is that there are many different kinds of twitterers, and if you don't like this week's twitterer, maybe the first one will be more to your liking. Example tweet: Wasting a day on pizza and BF3 is like masturbating: feels great while you’re at it, but later you’re like “what am I doing with my life?” [].

      • twitterers used twice in a sentence. Dispatching drones.

      • by bonch ( 38532 ) *

        The whole point is that there are many different kinds of twitterers, and if you don't like this week's twitterer, maybe the first one will be more to your liking.

        Don't hold your breath.

  • Hey, instead of listening to the government say nothing interesting, lets listen to random citizens say nothing interesting. Actually, this is a pretty cool idea -- there's not a chance anyone's going to say anything less interesting than stuff that would come from the Gov't. So hey, keep it coming!
    • by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @05:36AM (#38704442)

      Actually, this is a pretty cool idea -- there's not a chance anyone's going to say anything less interesting than stuff that would come from the Gov't. So hey, keep it coming!

      Unless those people were carefully selected, vetted, and choreographed by the government to be the blandest, most politically correct, most non-offensive Swedish people in all of Sweden (In that case, all bets are off, and you'll probably just want to kill yourself after five minutes of exposure to their feed).

      • We'd be getting jokes about bestiality, tales of practical jokes involving other people's bicycles, lewd comments about hot people at the bar, and oddly-endearingly-angry rants about how the world would be a more peaceful place if everyone smoked pot and got laid once in a while.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Sounds like your typical Swedish IRC channel...

  • by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @03:39AM (#38704104)

    so that they wont notice the entire world going down the toilet

  • From the article:

    "Sweden is by no means struggling to attract tourists. Foreign visitors made almost 8 million overnight stays in 2010, up 28% from 2002. Stockholm in particular has gained from the success of Stieg Larsson's multimillion selling Millennium books, which are partly set in the city. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has just been made into a Hollywood movie, taking more than $107m (£70m) worldwide since its release in December. Fans are already flocking to Sweden to sign up for tours of th

    • Who modded this troll, it's hilarious. Those exported cultural works should be seen as being about as indicative of Sweden as Disneyland is to the US. Or, like manga/anime is of Japan. It presents a view of the temperament of the populace, nothing else. My personal theory is that the obsession over misery in Swedish culture is some sort of psychological reaction to having it too good.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...Swedish Bikini Team forever afterwards. ;)

  • Not Democratic (Score:4, Interesting)

    by guttentag ( 313541 ) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @04:24AM (#38704258) Journal

    BBC reports that Sweden is allowing one citizen per week to take control of its official Twitter feed, in what's been described as 'the world's most democratic Twitter experiment.'

    Democratic? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. According to Wikipedia: []

    Democracy in its purest or most ideal form would be a society in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives.

    So it's not Democratic at all unless you let everyone vote on each Twitter post, which would make it American Idol: Sweden Edition. Instead, this is more like some MTV reality show where everyone sits at home and says, "huh... so that's what the country would be like if this moron was running things... thank goodness he's not... maybe next week will be different and meaningful" every week. A little advice to all you folks in Sweden: we tried this in the U.S. already. We called it the second Bush presidency [].

    • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @04:52AM (#38704338)

      Come on, that's not fair. I'm sure a random yokel off the streets could have done much better than Bush.

    • democratic
      1.pertaining to or of the nature of democracy or a democracy.
      2.pertaining to or characterized by the principle of political or social equality for all: democratic treatment.
      3.advocating or upholding democracy.

      Come on, you know well that words have many nuances. Here, the process is advocating democracy by showing that the voice of common people can be heard by the government and by the country at large. :)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      In the Athenian democracy, although all citizens could vote, they still had magistrates who could propose legislation. Magistrates were appointed by lottery, and this was considered democratic; electing magistrates would have been considered oligarchical.

      So I think this qualifies as democratic in the oldest sense.

      • by Phrogman ( 80473 )

        Of course, Athens had a few thousand bona-fide citizens but was supported by over 100,000 slaves and foreigners who did the work. So the "democracy" was kinda like ours mostly if we were to only allow the 1% to have the vote. :)

        • I think our democracy is uncannily like the Athenian one: we have a few thousands who decide and hundreds of thousands of sla^H^H^Hcitizens who do the work (and vote).
    • Democratic? You keep using that word.

      That's what PR departments and governments do, they use words that mean the opposite of what they mean.

      After all, there is nothing more undemocratic than a single puppeteer dictating who has a voice among the millions of people that do not have one, and pretending that the voice was completely chosen at random -- when clearly it was not (each one is too perfect and too politically correct for that).

    • MOST democratic.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    You could construe that this was democratic if selection was random. Its not. The people picked are chosen by the state for the characteridtics they have and how they will affect public perception.

    • by moozey ( 2437812 )
      Of course it's not random. If it was then there's very good chance you have a bunch of people chosen who either don't care for it, don't even know how to use the internet let a lone post a "tweet", or would completely abuse the power. Not to mention it would be heavily moderated so that nothing even remotely offensive gets posted.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        I'd like to point out Sweden has an internet usage rate of 92.5 percent. The moderation problem would be the real issue - it could easily turn into a shitstorm of anti-immmigration posts.

  • by iktos ( 166530 ) * on Sunday January 15, 2012 @05:00AM (#38704362)

    "Sweden's" official account? I didn't even know about it until now. But they got BBC to write about it, even though there's really no news content apart from "innovative marketing approach", which probably helped increase the number of followers from 8000 to 18000 but I wonder if the extra 10000 are interested in Sweden or in how this will work (and if it's really amateurs writing) and if any of them had any trouble telling Sweden and Switzerland apart before.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Sunday January 15, 2012 @05:13AM (#38704402)

    Adam Arnesson, a 21-year-old organic sheep farmer

    So did he twit what he does with his harvested organs? Are they used for the stem cell fresh blood car washing therapy from yesterday?

    Prior Art: Doesn't London have a park where any wing-nut can stand up on a soapbox and spew nonsensical non sequiturs to a gullible crowd, who would rather be assimilated than think for themselves?

    I guess that really sums up the Internet today, actually.

    Democratic? Hardly. I never voted for him, and neither did any Swede. But I guess in this case, one twit is as good as the next.

    "Who's been sleeping in my brain . . . ?"

  • I really liked this at first, in december. Then the @sweden feed was all about drinking, sex and mocking religion and norwegians. After that it went downhill, to boring (here is a picture of my dogs) to outright embarrassing. Currently it's controlled by a fucking priest citing the bible and chatting about spirituality. How un-swedish isn't that?
    • I couldn't care less about it, but we do have a religious party and so presumably there are religious swedes - and you can't tell me that "boring" isn't representative of the swedish national character, it'd only be fair to get a whole lot of them on to this thing.
      • You're right. I did like it better when we were represented by fart jokes though. That's more in line with the swedes I know.
        • Yeah, I've always felt a bit uneasy about the culture of Sweden (that I've known in my lifetime). I think it's like barbarism with all the non-childproof parts removed. It'd be awesome if they'd finish this with a twist though, like smuggling in Robert Gustavsson in character as old lady Lingon or something. Not like that's gonna happen.
  • It's not fair for those who die waiting for their turn... which is pretty much everyone alive.
  • I have enjoyed following the new Sweden account and would consider visiting after enjoying the country shared from the viewpoint of common citizens. I have never looked at a brochure from the Bahamas and found it convincing or enticing.

    In my case, it's entertaining and an effective ad campaign. The Swedish tourist bureau should probably win a medal or a cookie or something for an effective campaign.
    • In that case I'd strongly suggest to firstly make a visit in the spring or summer - making that early spring if you're into wintersports - and secondly to visit places other than Stockholm. The capital isn't really representative of the nation as a whole and many swedes find it boorish.
      • The Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen triangle looks interesting. I imagine that touring it would keep me busy for a week. The Aland islands look promising as well.

        I'll keep your advice about visiting in spring or summer as the Arctic circle passes through that area. :)
        • Sweden is a beautiful country from late june to early august. The rest of the year, not so much unless you plan on going skiing.
          Nature-wise it pales compared to Norway [] though, and I say that as a swede.
          • Oh, Sweden has its beautiful parts, it's just that you have to go north of Dalälven to find them (which means most foreign tourists never see them because they don't come up here).

        • by Kharny ( 239931 )

          Visit helsinki and tallinn too then, there are many cruise style trips that do dock on all or many of those places.

  • What about giving control of the whole government to one citizen a week? Provided the citizen is chosen randomly, that could be a truly democratic government.
    I know of some countries where this would be an incredible improvement of how the government works ...

"More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined." -- Fred Brooks, Jr., _The Mythical Man Month_