Every week a new person gets to tweet through the Twitter account @sweden, which aims to present the country of Sweden through the mix of skills, experiences and opinions it actually consists of. Through the stories of the various curators, not one Sweden is conveyed, but several.
In 2011, Sweden was the first country in the world to hand over its official Twitter account to its citizens. The project Curators of Sweden, an initiative of the Swedish Institute and VisitSweden, is administered by the Swedish Institute.
Why Curators of Sweden?
In an age of mass communication and increasing globalisation, a country depends largely on how it is perceived abroad. Political objectives, trade, investments, visitors, exchange of talent and creativity are all heavily dependent on the view of the outside world. Sweden’s development and future prosperity depend on strong relations with the outside world and a more active exchange with other countries in many areas. This is only possible, if more people are familiar with Sweden and become interested in the country and what it has to offer.
Twitter is a global social networking service and microblog that allows users to send and read messages, known as tweets. The messages are text-based and may be up to 140 characters long. Twitter as a medium makes it easy to reach the target audience in real time, with quick updates and shared content. Anyone can follow @sweden, and the network’s global reach means that the message can be received all over the world. Twitter is also very useful for engaging followers in a dialogue.
What’s the thought behind Curators of Sweden?
The idea with Curators of Sweden is that the curators will share both their own and relevant third party’s thoughts, stories, information and other content that is somehow linked to Sweden. The idea is that the curators, through their tweets, create interest and arouse curiosity for Sweden and everything the country has to offer. The expectation is that the curators will paint a picture of Sweden, different to that usually obtained through traditional media.
The rules of Curators of Sweden stipulate that the curators are free to write whatever they want. Tweets will only be deleted if:
- they violate Swedish law;
- they promote a commercial brand;
- they are a security threat.
For technical reasons, it is not possible to differentiate who is the author of a particular tweet, i.e. the picture and name that are displayed on Twitter are always of the current curator. This would mean that the tweet in question would be associated with this week’s name and profile picture.
Code of conduct
The @sweden account on Twitter is a platform that supports the idea of free speech and democracy. It’s meant to be a space that invites opinions and debates, not hate and trolling.
Please follow the 5 guidelines below when interacting with @sweden:
1. Refrain from personal attacks (against the curators or others), hateful posts and persistent trolling.
2. Please respect other people’s views and beliefs and consider your impact on others when interacting with @sweden.
3. Beware that this is not a space for racism, sexism, homophobia or other forms of hate speech.
4. Try to maintain a reasonable tone, even in unreasonable circumstances.
5. Please mind your language – foul language tends to get in the way of the message you’re trying to convey.
In short, demonstrate and share the interesting opinions, wisdom and humour we know you possess. Even though @sweden belongs to the Swedish Institute, the conversation belongs to us all.
Each curator on @sweden has the right to block twitterers who interact with the account, if she or he deems this necessary. Those accounts will remain blocked when a new curator takes over the account the following week. These measures are taken to ensure the wellbeing of our curators as well as to protect freedom of speech.
How can I nominate a future Curator of Sweden?
You cannot nominate yourself – but are free to suggest a suitable candidate. The candidate must be:
- An active Twitter user
- Someone who is located in Sweden (citizenship irrelevant), or a Swedish citizen abroad
If you have a suitable candidate in mind, please use this form to send us your nomination.