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Don’t mess with Sweden on Twitter

Now and then we read stories about businesses that use Twitter in ways that are creative, but not considered to be according to Twitter etiquette. Perhaps you remember when Habitat UK spammed several Twitter hashtags like #iPhone or #Mousavi, a tag associated with the Iran election, with tweets promoting their furniture? It created an uproar among Twitter users and gave the company lots of negative publicity.

Update: After a conversation with @dohop and checking the ID numbers of each tweet, I see that the tweet from @swedense came seconds before the first tweet from @dohop, giving this story a slightly different meaning. In other words, the tweet from @swedense was not directed to @dohop at all, but to several other comments on Twitter. Sorry that I hadn’t discovered that before.

Sweden on Twitter
Today I found another interesting example (hat tip to Johan Hedberg) from a website called Dohop.com, a “flight search engine”. It tried to generate business out of a very sensitive topic, namely the Swedish election. On Sunday last week, Sweden for the first time elected an anti-immigrant party into the Swedish parliament. The Sweden Democrats got 20 seats in the parliament, sending shock waves through the entire Swedish society, and the election results are not even final yet. So obviously this is not a topic that Swedes would take lightly, but it did not stop @dohop from publishing the following tweet.

twitterdohop

However, Sweden.se, the official web presence of the Swedish Institute, would not take that kind of tweeting about our beloved country. So it sent out this rather upset tweet.

twitterswedense

Which got picked up by @dohop, who apologized.

twitterdohop2

I don’t know if there is a moral to this story, but if you are trying to be funny on Twitter on someone else’s expense, be prepared that they might be listening and talk back. Way to go, Sweden.se!

Posted in Case Studies, Twitter.

Tagged with , .


10 Responses

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  1. andykool says

    Just a silly and not so serious comment. But anyway.

    For “…for Christ’s sake” what about for Mohamed’s sake? Not the smartest thing to make it about religion right now. 😉

  2. Omer Rosenbaum says

    that sounds like the campaigns Ryanair would lunch, “Depressed after SD’s victory? Pack yourself and go to Malta. Only 55kr en. resa”.
    I actually heard many people saying same thing before the elections about a scenario in which Mona Sahlin wins.

  3. A says

    Nonsense. Dohop did a perfectly fine tweet.

  4. igmorrison says

    Humour is a tricky one, especially when it comes to sensitive topics. The line between funny & inappropriate is a fine one, but in this case I think most people got the fact that dohop had tongue firmly implanted in cheek. Great to see sweden.se’s response though, keep up the good work!

  5. kullin says

    Yes, but if you noticed my update you’ll see that I got the tweets in wrong order, so Sweden.se did not respond to @dohop after all.

    Still, I think tweeting about the election that way to promote your services was a bit strange, even if it was done as a joke.

  6. Antoine MANSUY says

    I think a good conclusion would be that indeed, one can laugh about everything, but not with everyone.
    And Twitter is, indeed, almost everyone. Bad move.

  7. Johann Thorsson says

    I am the person responsible for Dohop on Twitter. And igmorrison has it right, this was done “with toungue firmly implanted in cheek.” As the update to the post said, I put out Dohop’s first tweet AFTER seeing swedense’s. The second one was to get their attention, not to apologize.

    Thank you for the attention though, and please stay in Sweden and fight the good fight against racism.

    And Hans Kullin gets a nod for good journalism, not everyone would have updated a small story like this.

  8. kullin says

    Thanks for the feedback Johann. I got the facts wrong so the natural thing to do was to update the post.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Alex Länkar: vecka 38 linked to this post on September 26, 2010

    […] Don’t mess with Sweden on Twitter | Media Culpa Ja, det kanske var en lite taskig/dålig kampanj. […]



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