A quickie with… Karolina Lassbo

Metro, the international newspaper chain founded in Sweden, has just launched a new blog venture on its home patch.

The manager of the new project is law graduate Karolina Lassbo, whose Glamourprinsessan blog has long been one of Sweden’s most popular.

But the glamour princess has also had her detractors, not least after she posed in a bikini last year for a painter whose works include a controversial portrait of a young neo-Nazi who was the victim of a brutal murder on the outskirts of Stockholm in 2000.

Can anyone become a blogger with Metro?

Yes, but you have to be over 16 to be eligible for payment and you must have an address in Sweden.

When you have over 5,000 page views in a given month you just push a button and Metro will transfer money to a special Mastercard account.

How much can a successful blogger like yourself expect to make from this?

If I was to have 5,000 page views a day I would end up with 50,000 kronor ($7,000) at the end of the year.

Does Metro have any control over what its bloggers write?

No, they are free to write about whatever subjects they wish. But most of them will probably cover fashion, politics, culture and so on.

What happens if one of your bloggers says something illegal – something that could be construed as hate speech for example?

If we see something illegal the blogger will be obliged to remove it. There is also an abuse function that readers can click on if they see anything inappropriate.

If people are reported we will keep a close watch on them. And if they continue to publish illegal material we will close them down.

You were the subject of some controversy yourself last year for comments you made on your blog concerning National Socialism.

You wrote for example that the artist Markus Andersson, who portrayed you in a series of paintings, was not a National Socialist “in the negative sense of the word”. You also said that you knew your comments would be “like throwing a torch into a gas chamber”. Do you regret that now?

Well, it was a joke. I still believe that most of my readers knew that it was a joke. But since I have a popular site with a lot of readers there is always going to be somebody who wants to knock me down.

Footnote: For those who read Swedish, the words that sparked the controversy can be found in context here (in a comment) and here.