Sweden is celebrating the 250th anniversary of becoming the first country in the world to abolish censorship. To prove how open they are, INGO created the first ever telephone number for a country for the Swedish Tourist Association. Yes if you dial + 46 771 793 336, it will connect you with a real live Swede where you can talk about absolutely anything at all. As the press release says: whether you want to talk politics, ask for the perfect meatball recipe, get insight into women’s rights laws or hear the chants of a football game. Because when I think censorship, I think meatball recipes.
Spent two minutes googling "Censorship in Sweden," and you get quite a very different picture of just how much they do censor in days of old all the way up to now. They also don't have freedom of speech, making it illegal to say certain things.
A Swedish newspaper, Expressen, went so far as to basically hack Disqus to get the identity of people leaving anti-immigration comments on its website. So not only is there no such thing as freedom of speech in Sweden, the country that supposedly abolished censorship, but one isn't allowed to leave an anonymous comment either.
We can debate the pros and cons of freedom of speech and what is considered free speech, until the cows come home. We can also have a conversation that a country's absurd amounts of political correctness can lead to voluntary self-censorship. Which is still censorship through coercion.
But rather waste time on that debate, which thank God I can still have here in America, what I can safely say is, if the Official Sweden Twitter account featured a woman who thought Hitler was a beautiful name among other craziness, we are about to see a more realistic side of this supposedly perfect country where everything is wonderful.
I hope someone records all those calls because man, that will be entertaining.
Client: Swedish Tourist Association