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Swedish college defends ‘YouTube lessons’ after minister’s criticism

A college in Sweden has defended its decision to offer a class on YouTube as part of its programme for upper secondary school students.

Swedish college defends 'YouTube lessons' after minister's criticism
File photo: Richard Vogel/AP/TT

The Thorén Innovation School, a group of upper secondary schools (gymnasium in Swedish) located in six Swedish cities, now offers a specialisation on the video sharing site as part of its aesthetic subjects line, reports TT.

The move has drawn criticism from Minister for Upper Secondary School and Adult Education Anna Ekström, according to the report.

In response, the school said that a large number of studies have found that all types of work will see increasing automation in coming years and that new types of companies and professions will develop.

As such, the way education is seen should also be developed, the school's parent company Thórengruppen wrote in an article published by Dagens Samhälle.

The company also said that young people have, to a large extent, replaced watching television with using media forms such as YouTube, which could lead to new forms of jobs related to online media.

In an earlier opinion article, Ekström described the initiative by the school group as “ridiculous”, “a marketing ploy” and “out of touch with reality”.

“It is not reasonable to present to young people a life in which success on the jobs market is dependent upon getting many followers on Instagram,” she wrote.

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YouTube star PewDiePie apologizes over racial slur

Swedish YouTuber PewDiePie has apologized for blurting out a racial slur while playing a livestreamed video game.

YouTube star PewDiePie apologizes over racial slur
PewDiePie's real name is Felix Kjellberg. Photo: Ole Gunnar Onsøien/NTB scanpix/TT

In a video clip available online since Sunday the 27-year-old Swede, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, can be heard using the N-word in an expletive-laden tirade at his opponent.

In a new YouTube video posted on Tuesday that was viewed more than 4.7 million times within 15 hours, Kjellberg said he was sorry.

“You probably won't believe me when I say this, but every time I go online and hear other players use the same kind of language that I did I always find it extremely immature and stupid, and I hate how I now personally fed into that part of gaming,” he said.

“It was something that I said in the heat of the moment. I said the worst word I could possibly think of and it just sort of slipped out.”

“I'm not going to make any excuses as to why it did, because there are no excuses for it.”

PewDiePie is known for posting humorous clips and playing livestreamed video games for his more than 57 million followers on YouTube, making him the site's most watched user.

It is not the first time Kjellberg has been at the centre of controversy. In February he lost contracts with YouTube and Disney over anti-Semitic comments (for which he also apologized), and he was temporarily blocked from Twitter in September 2016 after joking he had joined the Islamic State group.

“I'm disappointed in myself because it seems like I've learned nothing from all these past controversies,” Kjellberg said.

“I'm just an idiot, but that doesn't make what I said or how I said it okay. It was not okay,” he added.

“I'm really sorry if I offended, hurt or disappointed anyone with all of this.”