Tomas Åberg, project manager for Näthatsgranskaren, or “Network Examiner” an internet-based group who report Swedes to authorities if they are caught posting “hate speech” online, has been nominated for the “Swedish Hero” award by one of the country’s major newspapers.
According to Åberg, he has managed to find some 750 cases of hate speech emanating from Swedish social media accounts and reported them to the police.
For his work campaigning against Swedish citizens making disparaging remarks online, Åberg is in the running for newspaper Aftonbladet’s award which celebrates “everyday heroes who demonstrated courage, civil courage and humanity,” Aftonbladet reports.
The 43-year-old, a former police officer, started the network in January of last year and of the 750 people reported, 14 per cent have been prosecuted by the state and seven per cent, or 80 people, have been convicted. Åberg said he started the project because others were not taking hate crimes seriously enough.
Last week, Breitbart London reported that the actions of Näthatsgranskaren were driving the rise in prosecutions for hate crimes in Sweden and that the average age of those prosecuted was 55, with many of those being targeted of pensionable age.
EU-Backed ‘Social Justice’ Group Behind Rise in Social Media Hate Speech Prosecutions https://t.co/Ib41EjTfAu
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 28, 2018
“We were surprised to see ladies over the age of 65 write very, very rough things on Facebook,” Åberg told Metro.
He also noted that the group would be even more active ahead of the national election which is slated for later in the year.
The Swedish media and the Swedish government have both also expressed a desire to monitor social media ahead of the election in order to combat “fake news”.
In January, major Swedish media companies, including the publicly-funded broadcaster SVT, announced that their editorial teams would be collaborating with each other to fight so-called fake news and misinformation.
Sweden is not the only country which cracks down on hate speech on social media. In Germany, the government under German Chancellor Angela Merkel has conducted raids on hate speech suspects and earlier this year began enforcement of a law that could see social media giants like Facebook fined up to 50 million euros if they do not remove hate speech posts in a set timeframe.