@Sweden is run by the Swedish Institute, and it’s supposed to be a place for Swedish Twitter users to share insights about their everyday life with an international audience. We are allowed to tweet what we want about Sweden. I usually prepare my tweets a day or two in advance.
I wanted to have a fact-based conversation (with a touch of humor) combating the united effort of Trump and the far right (I know you say “alt,” but we in Sweden still say “far”) to make Sweden their prime example in a narrative of immigration gone wrong. The facts are against them, and it is the right of every citizen in the global landscape (as well as every voter) to know what’s correct in order to make informed and well-grounded decisions. Hence, we fact-check.
This has landed me roughly three kinds of responses on Twitter. I got a lot of support. People from all over the world are reacting to Trump’s remarks. The second kind of response I see is American users asking curious questions about “what’s really happening” in Sweden, and this is the kind of response that gave birth to the hashtag #lastnightinSweden, where the Internet quickly rallied to show the imaginary horrors of a fictional attack in Sweden. The third kind is the smallest, but also the most tiresome — anonymous users trying to scare, harass, threaten or abuse other users into silence. I was sent links with extreme content and was bombarded with questions impossible to answer. That’s something you can’t prepare for, but I’ve been lucky enough to have rigorous support, and I’m also confident of having the facts on my side.
It is my firm belief that Trump’s remarks, echoing those of high-level xenophobes, are reckless and not to be thrown around lightly. It’s surreal seeing the leader of the free world actually believing that Sweden in going down the drain, making comments that risk increasing polarization and, on a larger scale, dehumanizing migrants and ignoring the human right to asylum.
My time curating @Sweden ends Sunday, and you are more than welcome to join me until that time.