Uncensored @Sweden Continues to Shock and Inspire

First published June 17, 2012 – theredlens.com

After six months of curators, it doesn’t seem like the @Sweden account is losing anyone’s interest. Major news outlets, like the New York Times, ABC News, and Mashable have released new articles about the account, and more specifically the most recent Curator of Sweden.

Sonja Abrahamsson, who normally tweets as @hejsonja, has been the official Curator of Sweden for the past week (June 11-17). She’s had a controversial reign, peppered with naughty language at times and what some consider naïve – and others ignorant – questions about Jewish people. After her week, she leaves the account with 62,321 followers (and counting!), an increase by 30,000 in seven days.

@Sweden follower count from 6/11 – 17 via twittercounter.com

One blogger, Jennifer Newell, wrote an article aiming to explain any misconceptions people might have about Sonja’s tweeting. While the @Sweden account continues to open mainstream discussion on controversial topics, it also serves to point out the differences in Sweden and the United States. While one country freely allows its citizens to tweet uncensored, another’s news outlets sensationalize the content. Different approaches, but similar in the attempt to gain audience attention.

Nelson Bonner, creator of @TweetWeekUSA, has recognized Twitter’s revolutionary communication potential. He says “I think the movement offers a rare opportunity to share in the life experience of individuals within other cultural groups that is truly unprecedented.” He goes on to say, “Even when people tweet with trivial content, it seems to me that this is valuable information about their life experience and therefore important to the texture of the project.”

Curated accounts are inherently prone to offending someone due to miscommunication. To prevent the likelihood of this, @TweetWeekUSA has a “policy of adhering to language that would be suitable for broadcast TV.” However, he is starting to reconsider, “I think there is something to be said for being totally uncensored and letting the chips fall back on the individual. As long as the curator rotates every week…no lasting damage would ensue…and there might be more to be gained by being able to offer a truly uncensored platform than there would be lost by the inevitability of some occasional crudeness.”

If @Sweden is any indication, an uncensored account isn’t going to deter followers due to what some perceive as negative content. With an upcoming Presidential election this year, it would be interesting to watch if @TweetWeekUSA curators are given, and take, the opportunity to voice uncensored opinions. I wonder what the American media giants would say in regards to some heavy views by it’s own citizens?