Who is Magnus and why did he just text 90,000 Swedes?

Who is Magnus and what does he want? That was the question on tens of thousands of Malmö residents' minds on Friday.

Who is Magnus and why did he just text 90,000 Swedes?
File photo of someone perhaps receiving a text from Magnus? Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Empty but for the mysterious words “Magnus test”, the early morning text message from a regional water and waste management firm went out to around 90,000 people in Sweden's third biggest city Malmö on Friday morning. That is almost one third of the city's entire population.

Now, we just want to say that at The Local we cover plenty of serious topics. But if our readers want to know who Magnus is, we'll find out who Magnus is. We are not above those things and we also have little shame.

So we called the company in question.

“It was a scheduled test that we had forgotten about, so it was the human factor,” a decidedly amused VA Syd spokesperson told The Local, laughing while talking.

“Most people think it's funny and have given their best wishes to Magnus. Some have asked if it's something mysterious at play, but most are taking it in good spirit.”

We were unable to reach Magnus himself, but the spokesperson reassured customers that they were free to ignore the message.

But by then Magnus had already managed to spark discussion in Malmö, with many users replying directly to the text, or taking to social media to let Magnus know that “by the way, the test worked”.

And we are sure those of us who have their own experience of accidentally texting or emailing the wrong person can sympathize with the poor VA Syd employee and recognize that it could have been much worse.

“Magnus made our morning at work,” wrote one Malmö resident on Facebook.

“All of Malmö is very wrapped up in this Magnus test text. What is he testing? How long has he been working on it? How did he discover this issue? What do you look like Magnus?! Malmö wants to know who our hero is!” joked one of The Local's readers.

Even a local pizza restaurant jumped in to offer Magnus a free pizza. “We know that Fridays can be heavy… it's easy to slip on the keyboard and suddenly you have sent an SMS to aaaaall of Malmö. It's ok. We understand,” wrote Mastio pizzeria.

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