@Sweden: Sonja Abrahamsson’s controversial comments no surprise to Swedish officials

Swedish officials were well aware of Sonja Abrahamsson's off-the-cuff style.

Sonja Abrahamsson has been making headlines since she was selected to control Sweden’s official Twitter account, @sweden, for the week.

She first stirred things up after tweeting a string of controversial remarks about Jews. This morning, she educated the world about a phenomenon called “breastfolding” and said she sometimes wishes she had Down syndrome.

Her comments have caused a worldwide backlash as many critics wonder how a woman so prone to offensive remarks could be at the helm of a country’s official Twitter account, free to say whatever comes to mind.

Turns out, it looks like that’s exactly what Swedish officials were hoping for. And while her remarks have shocked and outraged many people around the world, they were no surprise to the people in charge of selecting her for this social experiment.

“The number is increasing by about a thousand an hour right now,” Maria Ziv, marketing director of Visit Sweden told Metro Wednesday.

She said they were very aware blogger and columnist Abrahamsson can sometimes be controversial. Without defending the tweets, Ziv said there’s no reason to stop Abrahamsson as she didn’t cross the line of what’s acceptable. Unless the 27-year-old makes the decision to abandon ship, she will continue as an ambassador for Sweden until Sunday.  She didn’t break the rules, as the tweets were not criminal. And the tweets will definitely not be censored.

“We haven’t spoken to her, as that could be seen as censorship. She is free to call us if she wants to, but we won’t call her,” Ziv said.

“It is important we give people an image of the real Sweden – a country where you are free to express your opinion even though some might find it inappropriate,” Ziv said, admitting she has been on the phone all day speaking to journalists from all over the world.

When asked whether Abrahamsson’s tweets have tainted or boosted the image of Sweden, Ziv said: “As a whole, it has strengthened the image of Sweden as an open and democratic society.  We’re talking about four tweets of an accumulated 20,000 that have been taken out of context. The discussion that followed has highlighted this openness.”

Metro has unsuccessfully tried to reach Abrahamsson for a comment.

Previously, another person in charge of @sweden proved the openness of Swedes by stating masturbating as one of his hobbies.


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