Sweden Says So Long To Country's Shared Twitter Account
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And now a moment to say goodbye to an experiment in Sweden that's been running for seven years.
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
The Twitter account @sweden is controlled by a different Swedish citizen each week. And a few years ago, I actually reported on this from Sweden. So in memoriam, here's an excerpt of that story.
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SHAPIRO: When the official Twitter account for the nation of Sweden posts something about the small town of Sjobo, this is not what you expect.
MARGIT RICHERT: Sjobo is famed in all of Sweden for having 46 really daft neo-Nazis. If you don't mind Nazis, however, Sjobo is a really nice place.
SHAPIRO: Or a tweet saying that if Scandinavia were a dysfunctional family...
RICHERT: Sweden would be the anxious hipster brother, always buying organic coffee and just harassing everybody else.
SHAPIRO: Those were both actual tweets from @sweden.
RICHERT: I'm Margit Richert. I live outside of Malmo out in the countryside. I am a food writer and a chef, and I just handled the Twitter account for Sweden for a week.
SHAPIRO: Swedish marketing consultant Patrick Kampmann conceived of the project at the ad agency Volontaire. He says national branding is often superficial and cliched.
PATRICK KAMPMANN: Like a fake dating profile. This is just Twitter, and it's just a small thing, but it's proving our society's view on democracy.
SHAPIRO: He wanted to disprove the stereotype that Swedish people are perfect, superficial and a bit boring - Ikea-ish, in his words.
CORNISH: Now, after seven years of viral moments, political hiccups and insight into daily Swedish life, this social experiment will wrap up on September 30.
SHAPIRO: Others are carrying the baton on Twitter. @Ireland gives its Twitter account to a different Irish person each week. But if you ever miss these Swedish insights, the entire back catalogue, all 200,000 or so tweets, is archived online at curatorsofsweden.com.
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