Swedish Radio quits Twitter, saying it is no longer relevant to Swedes – and citing potential risk of ‘hate and threats’
Swedish Radio has become the first major Western European public broadcaster to quit Twitter, joining three from North America in the past week.
Unlike Canada’s CBC and the US’ NPR and PBS, Swedish Radio did not cite a policy of labelling public broadcasters as “government-funded media”, which has not been applied in Western Europe as yet.
NPR quit Twitter last Wednesday, PBS followed on Thursday and the CBC made a similar announcement on Monday, with all three saying the “government-funded media” label undermined their editorial credibility and was not consistent with the facts.
European broadcasters such as the BBC and Swedish Radio are currently designated as “publicly funded”, which Swedish Radio head of social media Christian Gillinger said was “a correct description”.
He said the decision by Sweden’s largest radio company was made because Twitter has become less relevant for Swedes, with an estimated 7 percent from the country using it daily, compared to 53 percent for Facebook and 48 percent for Instagram.
The company’s head of social media Christian Gillinger said it has “de-prioritised” Twitter for “a long time” and has now decided to completely stop being active on the platform.
Twitter “has simply changed over the years and become less important for us,” Gillinger said.
He added that the “recent turbulence” around the platform was “worrying” and especially the fact that it has dramatically reduced its workforce.
“We believe that in the long run it may affect the company’s capacity to handle, for example, fake accounts, bots and misinformation, but also hate and threats,” he said.
“Of course, these are factors that also weigh in when we now decide to be editorially inactive on the platform.”