13:36 GMT +319 January 2020
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    Politicians, journalists and ordinary users alike joined forces in slamming the “distasteful” verse satirising street violence, published by a major Swedish newspaper.

    Dagens Nyheter, Sweden's largest daily, has landed in hot water over a Christmastide carol it published in December.

    A verse about a teenager shot in the city of Malmö sparked strong reactions as many found it extremely unethical.

    The carol initially posted on Instagram goes as follows: “A child was born in the city of Malmö // so was God's will // He would become just sixteen years old // and was shot with a pistol yesterday”.

    To the readers, the verse instantly reminded them of a 15-year-old teenager who was killed in a street shootout on 9 November. The incident triggered massive press coverage and triggered a police crackdown on violent crime called  “Operation Hoarfrost”. This was, however, not the only coincidence. In January 2017, 16-year-old Ahmed Obaid was murdered in Malmö. On New Year's Eve 2011, 15-year-old Ardiwan Diaa Samir was murdered in Malmö. Neither of the murders has been solved.

    Given this background, many slammed the verse as tasteless and crass.

    “I do not think you need to live in Malmö to find this carol utterly tasteless. Apparently DN regrets the publication, but it would be much more interesting to know how the publication could have happened at all”, the senior judge at Malmö court Lennart Strinäs suggested.

    ​Jan Ericson of the Moderate Party found the carol “extremely distasteful” and stressed the irony of Dagen Nyheter devoting much of its time criticising the harsh satire and irony on social media.

    ​Fellow Moderate party profile Hanif Bali, called the verse “really obnoxious”.

    “Inner-city kids get named and pictured when someone addresses them with the wrong pronoun, while wog children who are murdered on open streets become Christmas carol material. Socialist Liberal Utopia”, he tweeted.

    ​“Something must have burned in that head of yours, what were you thinking when you approved the carol?” an indignant user asked Dagens Nyheter and its perennial editor-in-chief Peter Wolodarski.

    ​“Makes you feel like cancelling your subscription, or at least watch a clip where Wolodarski explains a thing or two for the editor”, another one explained.

    ​Others suggested that Wolodarski and the rest of Dagens Nyheter's editorial board had drunk “too much mulled wine”.

    Dagens Nyheter's Christmas carol even caught the eye of fellow journalists. Svenska Dagbladet's social media editor Hanna Östberg wrote: “So incredibly tasteless”, to which Aftonbladet's editorial director Michael Poromaa responded that “DN has become so weird nowadays”, after writing “WTF”.

    Hundreds of critical comments posted on Dagens Nyheter's Instagram page and other social media prompted the newspaper to delete the post and offer an apology, calling the verse “offensive and insensitive”, but only after several days.

    “Now the post is gone (three days and 400 comments later) and DN regrets it. Well, better late than never, and I hope we of the major media can agree that we have a responsibility and should have a presence on social media”, Östberg mused.

    ​Malmö, Sweden's third-largest city, has seen no fewer than 32 deadly shootings this year, several with a fatal outcome. Still, it is surpassed by Uppsala in shootings per 100,000 inhabitants, if only by a slim margin.

    Dagens Nyheter is a major Swedish daily with extensive domestic and international coverage. It is owned by the Bonnier family, which runs over a hundred media companies in a dozen countries, and is self-described as “independently liberal”.


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    Dagens Nyheter, crime, shooting, Scandinavia, Sweden
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