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Swedish firms lack social media policy: survey

Only seven percent of Swedish firms operate a formal policy for how employees may use social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter during working hours.

The equivalent figure for the rest of the world is 20 percent, according to a new survey conducted by staffing firm Manpower.

“In Sweden it is perhaps part of a more general IT policy. Perhaps we see social media as more of an opportunity than a problem. Perhaps business culture in Sweden places more responsibility on the individual,” Hans Makander at Manpower Sweden told The Local on Thursday.

Many firms express concern over the use of social media and its impact on staff productivity. There is also a concern that sensitive information could leak out, according to the survey of 34,000 companies worldwide.

“Companies need to find ways to capitalise on social media in their operations. A formal policy for the use of external social media can be fine, but it should not be used to control staff,” Manpower Sweden CEO Peter Lundahl said in a company statement.

Hans Makander told The Local that he recognises the discussion in that which met the arrival of the photocopier, fax machine and mobile telephones.

“It takes some time to establish what can be done with the new technologies, and what is okay to do privately at work; but after a while it settles down,” he said.

The survey also asked employees across the world in what areas social media could be applied to boost company performance. The largest benefit was within brand development, the report shows.

Manpower recommends firms to also make use of social media to develop new methods for teamwork, stimulate commitment among employees, and for recruitment purposes.

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AFGHANISTAN

Swedish student to face trial after anti-deportation protest that stopped flight

The Swedish student who livestreamed her onboard protest against the deportation of an Afghan asylum seeker will go on trial on Monday.

Swedish student to face trial after anti-deportation protest that stopped flight
Elin Ersson. File photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Elin Ersson will appear at Gothenburg District Court, charged with violating Sweden’s Aviation Act.

Ersson protested in July last year against the Swedish government's policy of deporting some rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan by boarding an Istanbul-bound flight that carried an Afghan man who was to be returned home after being denied asylum.

With a ticket for the flight that was purchased by the activist group 'Sittstrejken i Göteborg', the activist boarded the aircraft and then refused to sit down until the Afghan man was let off. Flights are not allowed to take off until all passengers are safely in their seats.

Ersson livestreamed her protest on Facebook, where it was viewed over five million times.

Eventually, Ersson was told that the man would be let off the plane and she was also removed by airport security.

According to the prosecutor in the trial, which will take place Monday, Ersson acknowledges her actions in the incident but said her objections were based on her morals and argues that she did not act illegally as the plane was not in the air at the time of her protest.

“I believe that she is guilty of a crime which I can prove and which she will not admit. The court will therefore determine this,” prosecutor James von Reis told TT when charges were brought against the student.

In an interview with the news agency in July last year, Ersson was asked how she sees the view that her actions can be considered criminal.

“The key issue for me is that the man who was to be deported is human and deserves to live. In Sweden we do not have the death penalty, but deportation to a country which is at war can mean death,” she said.

The trial is expected to be completed within one day and Ersson’s defence has sent supplementary evidence to the court.

That consists of a legal statement by Dennis Martinsson, a lawyer in criminal law at Stockholm University. In the 13-page statement, Martinsson argues that the Aviation Act is phrased in a way which makes it questionable whether it is applicable to what Ersson did.

According to the legal expert, the relevant paragraph only applies to requests made by the aircraft’s commanding officer. Investigation of the incident found that Ersson was instructed to take her seat by “cabin crew on board”.

Further, the law states that criminal liability applies to passengers who do not comply with instructions “during a flight”, a description which Martinsson argues cannot be applied to an aircraft on the ground waiting to depart.

There is no precedent in interpretation of the law, he also writes according to TT’s summary.

The extent to which those arguments will affect the outcome of Monday’s case remains to be seen.

The penalty for violation of the Aviation Act is a fine or imprisonment for a maximum of six months.

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