1) This pic published in the Daily Mail showing debris left after terrorist attack on US Capitol seems relatively unremarkable. But a man in Sweden noticed something: the red scarf at the top with the name of the northern Swedish city of Skellefteå. Then it got interesting.
2) The man contacted his local paper, pointing out the fact that there was a scarf from a northern Swedish city of just 70,000 in the debris of the attack. The paper published the story, with the headline: "What's a Skellefteå scarf doing inside of Congress?"
3) It turns out that, in 2017, the scarf had been offered as a Christmas gift from the city of Skellefteå to people who had moved away from the area. They were told go to a website and order one. A total of 934 people did so, and had received the scarf.
4) Now, natl Swedish media picked up story, wondering if a Swede had participated in the terrorist attack in Washington. Doing a search, the paper Dagens Nyheter found pictures of the man who was wearing the scarf. The first showed him trying to force his way into the Capitol.
5) After breaking through the barriers, the scarf man was later seen toward the front of the mob, waiving an American flag, and no longer wearing his baseball hat...but an official police helmet and visor. Skellefteå scarf still on.
6) After viewing film of the event, Sweden's Dagens Nyheter newspaper revealed that the man was seen among in the group that had pulled a police officer out of the building and brutally beaten him. Let's get back to the scarf.
7) As mentioned, in 2017 the scarf had been sent out by Skellefteå as a gift to 934 people. So, the paper requested those names from the city. Of the 934, one lived in the US. They called. It was a woman who says she got socks, not a scarf. And, she has no idea who the man is.
9) Scarf Man (picture on the right) is now identified as a "Person of Interest" by the Washington DC police. Media in Sweden have not been able to identify him.
10) The Skellefteå scarf affair is a pretty fascinating story containing a mix of violence, social media data, investigative journalism, information through freedom of information, policing and small-town identity. Hopefully the scarf will help get the guy arrested.
11) Apologies. Eagle-eyed person who identified the scarf in the Daily Mail pictures was not a man, but a local Skellefteå woman. She says when she first saw it, she thought she was just imagining things. She double-checked and put it on Facebook & Instagram to confirm.

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More from @ChrChristensen

12 Jan
Shameful by Swedish public service @SVT this weekend as, in a news program addressing events in the US, they invited a local Republican politician from Ohio as a guest, who was given extended time to spout complete lies. All in a blatant effort to provide "balance."
Joy Van Patten, the person that @SVT somehow chose to take part in the program about the attack on the Capitol, was -- amazingly -- also interviewed by Danish public service DR in October about the US. This, despite virtually no relevant experience or expertise.
What views did @SVT guest Joy Van Patten -- who said leftist activists were paid to take part in Capitol attack -- hold? For one, she thinks that US educational policy is "paganism" where kids are "bombarded" with messages about evil things like evolution and LGBTQ agendas.
Read 7 tweets
12 Jan
1) Twitter updates Civic Integrity Policy, prohibiting use of Twitter "to manipulate or disrupt civic processes, including through the distribution of false or misleading information about the procedures or circumstances around participation in a civic process." These are...
2) Twitter identifies four categories of misleading behavior and content: First, "Misleading information about how to participate."
3) The second category that violates Twitter's Civic Integrity Policy: Suppression and intimidation."
Read 7 tweets
11 Jan
Statement from Melania Trump, in which she says her "heart goes out" to the people who died while actively participating in a terrorist attack on the seat of US government. Really...these people are a parody of a parody of a nightmare.
Melania Trump then goes to implore people "never make assumptions based on the color of a person's skin." This, from the person who, like her husband, gladly pushed the racist birther conspiracy theory about Obama. Beneath disgusting.
And, because these are people simply incapable of any sense of basic human decency and feeling, Melania Trump uses the terrorist attack encouraged by her husband as an opportunity to complain about gossip about herself.
Read 4 tweets
9 Jan
1) Let's just cut the bullshit and get to the heart of the Trump ban: If there's anything "Orwellian" about all of this, it's the right re-framing the for-profit, privately-controlled "free market of ideas" they have relentlessly pushed for decades as "leftism" and "anti-speech."
2) In the US, we watched as policy meant to protect against excessive concentration of corporate ownership of media was stripped away; we watched in Europe as media markets were "de-regulated" and public broadcasting came under attack as "distorting" markets.
3) The entire ideological conservative zeitgeist of this era was (and still is) that the privately-owned corporate sector was better qualified and better structured to have control over the flow of news and information in society. To break free from regulation and state control.
Read 15 tweets
18 Dec 20
1) I'm not an epidemiologist. I'm not a virologist. But, I am a resident of Sweden who can read and think a little. The decision by Sweden today to recommend masks on public transport is far too late, and it raises a number of questions that really need to be asked.
2) Up to this point, arguments from Swedish authorities have been that (1) science on masks not conclusive, (2) mask use could encourage sick people to go out, (3) mask use could embolden people to ignore distancing/hygiene, (4) people don't know how to use masks (touch face).
3) First, it needs to be asked why the Swedish government decided today, 11 months into the outbreak, to take this first, small step on masks? If it is "new science" that has convinced them, they need to show that science, and explain how/why it outweighed previous science.
Read 11 tweets
28 Nov 20
1) From start of COVID, I've tried to address what I see as problems w/how Sweden is discussed at home & abroad: from "life is unchanged in Sweden" nonsense, to COVID and minorities, to masks to "herd immunity" bullshit. But, there's another angle I think is worth discussing.
2) Many non-Swedish media have criticized Sweden for a strategy that has claimed almost 7000 lives. Criticism often framed in moral/ethical terms: that this is disregard for human dignity, life. It's an important issue. But, it begs the question of when/how that frame is applied.
3) When I hear intl. media criticism of Sweden's COVID policy on humanitarian/dignity grounds, I wonder where this media criticism was when countries in Europe (and the US) refused to take in refugees fleeing for their lives from war in Iraq and Syria. It was largely missing.
Read 9 tweets

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