Swedish News Channel Reports Misinformation Campaign by Far-Right

The threats against newspeople and their correspondents from Sweden’s TV4, the Swedish national news channel, have asked its employees not to display any logos or identifying gear while in public.

The investigation shows Kalla Fakta (Cold Facts) claimed that the extreme right-wing Sweden Democrats had a large network of anonymous social media accounts that were used to conspire to attack political opponents and news outlets. As a result, the security risk was considered to be too great. 

Even while Swedes have a lot of faith in their government and media, this might damage their democracy.

A TV4 journalist went undercover for a year in the Sweden Democrats’ communications department, but previous Swedish media sources have covered nationalist “troll farms” as well. The station confirmed at least 23 department-run social media profiles. Only three months after they were created, these accounts’ posts garnered 27 million views across all social media platforms. 

According to the news, this is just the beginning of the wave of disinformation and ultra-nationalist hate speech emanating from a publicly financed political party that the ruling coalition depends on. 

In covert camera footage, party strategists were also shown plotting covert assaults against erstwhile loyalists who were perceived as not being fully committed to the Sweden Democrats’ cause.

Jimmie Åkesson, the head of the far-right party, attacked the news media fiercely and said it seemed like a vast domestic influence operation by the left-liberal establishment trying to “demoralize” rightwing supporters in the run-up to the EU elections, and he insisted that the whole show was fake news. 

The far-right memes that the Sweden Democrats’ staff and members allegedly disseminated include numerous racist and antisemitic American hate organizations, cartoons that reject the Holocaust, stuff that supports Russia, and detailed impersonations of political opponents. One worker has been placed on administrative leave following the publication of posts in which he voiced his support for Putin’s invasion of Crimea.

If people no longer have faith in political news outlets due to these persistent attacks, then maybe even truth and political accountability are in jeopardy.