NEW: "We want her to continue being herself," Sweden marketing director says
Sonja Abrahamsson has used the country's official Twitter account to make an AIDS joke
She also speculated about why some people hate Jews, then decided it was a bad idea
@Sweden gives a different citizen control of the account each week to drum up interest
Sweden’s tourist board decided to try to drum up interest in the country recently by handing control of the national Twitter account to a different Swedish citizen every week.
They got what they wanted.
In fact, this week, they may have gotten more than they wanted.
The current curator of @Sweden is a foul-mouthed mother of two who has tweeted photos of herself breastfeeding and of a dish she called strawberries with milk and urine. She’s also made a joke about Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury having AIDS, the disease that led to his death.
Some followers of the account found her musing about why some people hate Jews particularly shocking.
Sonja Abrahamsson’s series of tweets on the subject Tuesday began: “Whats the fuzz with jews. You can’t even see if a person is a jew, unless you see their penises, and even if you do, you can’t be sure!?”
She went on to point out that the Nazis made Jews wear stars so they could tell who was a Jew, mentioned that she grew up in a place with no Jews and concluded: “Im sorry if some of you find the question offensive. Thats was not my purpose. I just don’t get why some people hates jews so much.
“I thought it was a good idea to ask the question when so many well educated people all over the world can answer. But no. Bad idea.”
Abrahamsson also ruminates in extremely crude terms about what would result from crossing the movie “Snow White” with the thriller “Seven.”
And she expresses a certain open-mindedness about fans of teen idol Justin Bieber: “If someone likes Justin Bieber in Sweden, we dont care. We let them. We dont call him ‘gay’ if we mean ‘he sucks’. We say ‘he sucks.’ “
Her tweets have prompted dozens of questions and some criticism.
“we’ve been to Sweden. And your behaviour is extremely unbecoming. They should take your passport away,” one person tweeted at her.
“why not, i have never used it anyway,” Abrahamsson responded.
The self-described “Holy mother of two” took over the Twitter account Sunday and gets it for a week.
“This is exciting,” her Twitter bio says.
Her personal biography on the @Sweden website says she’s “a single and low educated mother, but at least I don’t do drugs and prostitution.”
She comes from “a little itsy bitsy village called Latikberg” where all the people “are relatives and they all own tractors,” it says.
@Sweden is a joint project of Visit Sweden and the Swedish Institute, which describes itself as “a public agency that promotes interest and confidence in Sweden around the world.”
They knew what they were getting into when they handed over the keys to the account, Visit Sweden marketing director Marie Ziv said.
“She is a controversial and provocative person for sure,” said Ziv, who said Abrahamsson tweets and blogs in Swedish in a similar vein.
“We haven’t called her or told her to stop or back down. We want her to continue being herself,” she said. “It’s our choice not to censor anyone because we want to keep it real.”
“We want to show the diverse and multifaceted country that we are,” Ziv said.
@Sweden aims to “create interest and arouse curiosity for Sweden and the wide range the country has to offer,” the project says online. It started on December 10 and has had 24 curators so far, Ziv said.
The account had about 44,000 followers as of Wednesday afternoon and was adding about 1,000 new followers an hour.
Abrahamsson did not immediately respond to a tweet from CNN.