• Sweden edition
 
‘Be patient’ says Sweden to Colbert’s Twitter plea

‘Be patient’ says Sweden to Colbert’s Twitter plea

Published: 13 Jun 2012 15:10 GMT+02:00
Updated: 13 Jun 2012 15:10 GMT+02:00

“I want control of Sweden’s Twitter account next,” said TV host Stephen Colbert on Monday after having been "enthralled" by Sweden's Curators of Sweden campaign which puts the country's official Twitter account in the hands of ordinary citizens.

Footage of Colbert’s plea, aired on The Colbert Report programme, has already swept across the internet.

In the three minute clip, featured below, Colbert asks fans to send emails to “Sweden’s ministry of Twitter” to pressure them into allowing him to “take the controls”.

With his 3.5 million followers, Colbert claims that “mathematically, I am 100 times more prepared for this than the entire culture of Sweden".

However, the group behind the “Curators of Sweden” initiative, the Swedish Institute (SI), has told Colbert to be patient.

“People who are not Swedish citizens cannot take over the account, not yet anyway,” SI media relations manager Sergio Guimaraes told The Local.

“But we would never discard the possibility.”

After this week’s curator raised eyebrows worldwide with her online musings about Jews, Colbert couldn’t resist the chance to offer his own services.

“Sonja Abrahamsson brought some attention to Sweden with her charming question: What’s the fuzz with Jews?” Colbert said, then added:

“I solemnly swear that I, Stephen Colbert, know what the ‘fuzz’ is with Jews."

“Let’s make ‘operation artificial Swedener’ a success!”

The current rules on the official website stipulate that @sweden “currently only accepts applicants who are Swedish citizens, but admit that “this might change in the future”.

When asked how many emails it would take before the institute changed their rules, Guimaraes remained staunch.

“It’s not a question of pressure. We have a very long list already, the queue is huge. We’ll sit down and truly consider the goals of the account before we change anything,” he told The Local.

“This is not a project; we’ve been running it since December. It’s supposed to continue – it’s an initiative.”

When probed about the extra ten thousand followers that have joined overnight since the current @Sweden curator’s tweets have gone viral, Guimaraes beamed.

“It’s terrific that there’s been such a positive response. But we have been happy with each of the 24 curators so far, and have enjoyed the 20,000 plus tweets they’ve posted.”

“The following has been growing fast, and we’re proud to have been engaging so many people since we launched it,” he added.

“But Colbert will have to wait, for now anyway,” Guimaraes told The Local.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

16:39 June 13, 2012 by Migga
She asked a question, it wasn`t hatefull at all. Some people found it to be upsetting but there will always be people who will be upset by what others say. Is the right way really to judge this woman, Sweden and Swedes for asking an upsetting question? The same people who get upset are the ones who are fast to judge the woman, Sweden and Swedes. People who made comments on the previous article and people like Colbert. He was sure to point out that she is aryan looking. What does her looks have to do with anything? Sad.

And I still think it`s a non story since people saying upsetting things shouldn`t be news. That is if one is open minded, respect free speech and live in a democratic country. I guess some of these others don`t fufill one of these criterias. Saying hatefull and criminal things is another thing but that isn`t the case here. The way she is being called out by some is disgusting.
17:05 June 13, 2012 by NyDag
She didn't say anything out of order. Seems like merely mentioning that someone is a jew or a negro is enough to see you condemned as a racist.
17:26 June 13, 2012 by Emerentia
Why don't he ask to take over the official Twitter account of the US instead?
18:32 June 13, 2012 by Tarc the Mexan
Who is Stephen Colbert and why should anyone care about what he says?
18:35 June 13, 2012 by AHA
A stupid man talking to a gullible audience.
19:15 June 13, 2012 by strixy
Well, if Jews cannot complain about anti-semitism, then Middle Easterners cannot complain about racism and women cannot complain about sexism :) Right?
19:42 June 13, 2012 by MeaCulpa
@strixy

well I'de say that she wrote som stupid s**t, but antisemitic it wasn't. She didn't call Jews inferior, she didn't imply some wast Zionist conspiracy, she didn't write that people of jewish faith where Jesus killing baby eaters, or any of the other things that seems commonplace in the antisemitic camp. She did however display a quite significant lack of knowledge about the distinction between a jewish ethnicity and the jewish religion, something I would attribute to the fact that Sweden isn't exactly a hot spot for Jews or their faith*, and that she doesn't seem like the most generally knowledgeable person.

"There's somewhere around 20 000 Jews in Sweden and only a third of those are members of a Jewish congregation.
20:03 June 13, 2012 by Enjoyourlife
Can I know why jews are treated so special? Blacks who were enslaved and died in their thousands en route to the US are not treated special. it is not right to say anything against the jews, but it is ok for the jews(their PM) to call blacks cancer of their society. what a world!!
20:19 June 13, 2012 by towns
@ Enjoyourlife (#8)

I haven't heard that comment by their PM, does it have anything to do with this?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/06/12/israel-african-migrants.html
20:27 June 13, 2012 by Mina08
yanks are so stupid, i mean come on the USA has only been around for 236 years and Sweden.....
20:30 June 13, 2012 by rfmann
The question in question wasn't 'hateful' (or 'anti-semitic') as much as is was demented and silly and indicative of someone who has lived a rather sheltered existence in an ethnic monoculture. It deserved to be made fun of, along with the silly concept of a national Twitter account, and it was. The only sign of someone being upset, as far as I can tell, is this here parade of hurt Swedish egos that let their herd instinct make them get behind the most inane nonsense if it is the target of some well-deserved fun-poking by a non-Swede.

Get over yourselves, folks.
20:40 June 13, 2012 by samspur1
obviously another dumb... absolutely gorgeous girl...
21:22 June 13, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
Wow! She's a babe! Sweden FTW!
22:25 June 13, 2012 by jamesblish
Of course they should let him do it, he'll get a million followers right away. It's brilliant marketing.
01:51 June 14, 2012 by Noturningback
For those wondering who Stephen Cobert is, he is a very popular American political satirist/comedian. He has a show called The Cobert Report. He got his start on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. For all you people who are either bashing Americans or have your knickers in a twist, remove the stick from your rear orifice - It's a joke - lighten up.
04:29 June 14, 2012 by Marc the Texan
What the fuzz, people?
08:48 June 14, 2012 by RobinHood
A fair deal would be Colbert gets the Sweden account for a week, and a Swede gets control of Colbert's account the next week. I bet he wouldn't agree to that one; the suits and lawyers at Comedy Central would go nuts.
09:35 June 14, 2012 by texaslass
Echoing #15, this is merely a satire. Nothing is sacred on Colbert's show- he typically pokes fun of Americans and American politicians. He just happened to find something odd in Sweden to poke fun of.

Satire is rarely used in Sweden- I have been told by many people that it is considered mean and most Swedish people do not find laughing at other's foibles funny. However, satire is hugely popular in the States. So, it is merely a difference in humour. No big deal.

I did not find Sonja's comments to be anti-Semetic, just merely ignorant. To her defense, Sweden has not been a multicultural society and Sweden has a Christian foundation (evidenced by so many Christian holidays that are very important to Swedes). So, there most likely is a lack of familiarity about non-Christian faiths. Most of my Swedish friends did not attend bar mitzvahs and Hindi debuts whilst growing up, they are only familiar with Christian confirmations.
10:45 June 14, 2012 by Youdee
@texaslass: Well put. Most of my Murcan friends have not attended events such as bar/bah mitzvahs and sweet 16 parties. §;-D
11:49 June 14, 2012 by comentatir
I think the saddest part of the story is Sweden and Swedish people are being mocked by Americans on intellectual grounds! When people said to me that Sweden is becoming quite alike US, I wasnt taking it seriously. Wow!!
21:11 June 14, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
Agree with other posters here: a basic lack of education/intelligence on the part of the Sweden Twitter woman. Casts Sweden in an embarrassing light actually.

And yes - Stephen Colbert was being 'satirical'/tongue-in-cheek. He riled a few people on here though! Lol!
08:20 June 15, 2012 by Onivan
How 'bout reducing the fuzz by having Colbert interview Ms. Abrahamsson.
16:44 June 15, 2012 by Vermaldeehide
Thank you, these comments have been very entertaining. It's so funny watching two groups of people misunderstand each other after having pointed out repeatedly that they misunderstand each other.
16:52 June 16, 2012 by MikeyV77
He's just doing this to get attention. He's an idiot. Everything is turned into a race thing here. They always do it. Must normal people here don't care, but the tries to spin it the other way.
09:11 June 20, 2012 by Trenatos
I like #17s idea!

However, it's true that what she said wasn't very enlightened, it also wasn't anti-anything and people need to get over themselves.
Today's headlines
Politics
Sweden slammed for racism report omissions

Sweden slammed for racism report omissions

The Swedish government has been criticized by a slew of organisations for omitting a series of notorious cases of discrimination and a general lack of self-criticism in its report to the UN Human Rights Council. READ  

Sport
Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Sweden's top scorer in history. PHOTO: TT/Maja Suslin

Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is recovering well from the nagging heel problem that has stopped him playing for Sweden during its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. READ  

International
Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir
A shot from the video on YouTube.

Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir

Two sisters from Södertälje near Stockholm are celebrating getting more than 1.3 million hits on YouTube, with a video calling for peace in war-torn Syria. READ  

Pirate Bay
Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison
A 2013 image of Svartholm Warg. Photo: TT

Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison

Swedish "hactivist" Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for hacking crimes. READ  

Royal family
Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback
Princess Madeleine at a previous Nobel banquet. Photo: TT

Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback

Sweden's Princess Madeleine is scheduled to appear at the Nobel Festival in Stockholm in December, after taking time out from her royal duties to focus on looking after her daughter. READ  

Politics
'We knew that Israel would be critical'
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (left), with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

'We knew that Israel would be critical'

Sweden's Foreign Minister has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine, and laughed off comments about IKEA furniture made by her Israeli counterpart. READ  

Analysis
'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'
Doctors say we should make the most of the autumn sunshine. Photo: Shutterstock

'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'

Spending time outdoors this autumn will help you survive a cold, dark Swedish winter. Baba Pendse, Head of Psychiatry at Lund University shares his top tips for battling the seasonal blues with The Local. READ  

Sports
Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid
Skiers hit the slopes in Åre, western Sweden. Photo: TT

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid

Norwegian sports officials have said they want to co-host the winter Olympics with Sweden in 2026. But there has so far been no official response from Sweden. READ  

National
Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

Entertainment
A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Sport
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

31 October

Editor’s Blog, October 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Welcome to our latest 60-second round-up of the week’s news. First, Sweden made headlines around the..." READ »

 

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

935
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN