Dagens Nyheter, Sweden's largest morning newspaper, has come under fire from the chief of police of Gothenburg, the country's second largest city, for spreading fake news.
Erik Nord, the police chief of Greater Gothenburg, cried foul when an unsigned Dagens Nyheter article claimed that “the police had put in extra resources to get a grip on guests smoking on the sly at Metallica's concert in Gothenburg”.
“What a belly flop from DN's editorial staff! Don't they have a filter for fake news in Sweden's largest daily?” Erik Nord tweeted.
Vilket magplask av DN:s ledarredaktion! Har de inget filter för Fake News på Sveriges största dagstidning? pic.twitter.com/HtzRf2InNS— Erik Nord (@AENO98) 17 июля 2019 г.
Nord's criticism spread like wildfire on Twitter, where some went so far as to call Dagens Nyheter “the largest distributor of fake news”.
“I will only say 'racist firefighters in Boden'. DN is the largest distributor of fake news”, a user wrote, recalling a 2014 incident when a group of firefighters from the town of Boden demanded a correction after a DN article claimed racist attitudes at Boden's fire station, where a person named Mohammed was allegedly mobbed to the point of being forced to quit. When it turned out that there had never been a Mohammed working at the Boden fire station, the newspaper backed down and issued a clarification.
Säger bara "rasistiska brandmän i Boden".— Kalle Sydwest (@KalleSydwest) 17 июля 2019 г.
DN är den största spridare av Fake News.
Others cited the infamous and widely ridiculed “Sandviken report” published by Dagens Nyheter, which claimed that Sandviken Municipality had reportedly earned half a billion kronor on immigration. Although the report was criticised by both government experts and standalone pundits and later disproved as false, the daily never issued a retraction.
“The Sandviken report laid the foundation for further propaganda journalism. It was so utopian activist, that not even DN could defend it after a few years”, a user noted.
Sandvikenrapporten lade grunden för vidare propagandajournalistik. Den var ju så utopiskt aktivistisk så inte ens DN kunde försvara den efter några år och på.den vägen det.— Peter Hörnberg (@swede_pete) 17 июля 2019 г.
Yet another point of criticism was Dagens Nyheter reportedly covering up sex attacks perpetrated by migrants during the music festival We are Stockholm.
“Still remember DN's fake news about racist firefighters in Boden. And their hushing up of sex abuse in Kungsträdsgården. Zero credibility left”, another tweeted.
Minns fortfarande DN's fake news om rasistiska brandmän i Boden. Och mörkandet av sexövergreppen i Kungsan. Noll trovärdighet kvar.— marie-louise hjelm (@CesarHjelm) 17 июля 2019 г.
After being challenged about the falsehood, Dagens Nyheter issued a correction to the text, recognising that the previous claims were incorrect.
Dagens Nyheter is a major Swedish daily aspiring to full domestic and international coverage. Self-described as “independently liberal”, it is owned by the Bonnier family, which altogether runs over a hundred media companies in a dozen countries.