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Read more: Aftonbladet’s “Hero of the Year”: Näthats networking policeman

Aftonbladet’s “Hero of the Year”: Näthats networking policeman

Every year, Aftonbladet selects eight “heroes” that are praised as Swedish Heroes by the end of the year. One of them is Tomas Åberg, Project Manager for the Network Surveillance Officer. On Saturday, he was chosen as one of the nominees on Aftonbladet.se, with the reasoning behind his nomination that he has “reported 750 notifications” of radical language online..

By – Brünnhilde

The otherwise anonymous project Näthatsgranskaren has a public project manager, Tomas Åberg, 43. He has previously worked as a police officer and started the Network Examiner with a friend who was a system developer.

Tomas Åberg has reported 750 people for so-called “networking” on the internet, Aftonbladet writes today. 14 percent of cases have gone on to prosecution and approximately 7 percent have ended in a convicting sentence.

On Saturday, Tomas Åberg and Näthatsgranskaren are listed in the Swedish Heroes of Aftonbladet, which was launched in 2007, and praises “everyday heroes who demonstrated courage, civil courage and humanity.”

“We created our own search appliance that finds words and phrases that may be suspected of insulting minorities, upsets and unlawful threats,” says Tomas Åberg to Aftonbladet, pointing out that he wants to be a counterweight to the “radicalizing of coarse language” online.

According to Åberg, development on the internet has become “really dangerous” and he is now investing in expanding the business, so that as many Swedes as possible can be prevented from being “radicalized” by coarse language.

Read More: Näthats behind ‘witch-hunt’ arrests of people expressing political opinions

Many of those caught in the Åberg “search program” and reported to the government are older ladies who wrote upset posts on Facebook about immigration to Sweden.

Not less than 15 people now work with the Näthats examiner, which according to Aftonbladet “chases” individuals who express “criminal tendencies”. But while the Network Examiner is working to identify people who express opinions anonymously, the project’s other employees are themselves anonymous.

The project explains this on it’s website of Näthatsgranskaren, “We want to focus on the above points, not against our group or specific members of it.”

During 2017, the Näthats Examiner received SEK 600,000 in state aid from the MUCF, the Ministry for Youth and Civil Affairs.

“They are nothing but a digital citizen who acts under an invisibility mantle, while arbitrarily deciding what to say, and by whom, a business supported by Sweden’s rulers. Is this really what democracy looks like?” asks writer Katerina Janouch in a critical article about the Network Examiner.

Whether Tomas Åberg becomes the “Swedish hero of the year”, it remains to be seen. The Aftonbladet jury nominates eight heroes and the prize is awarded at the Swedish Heroes Galaxy in TV4 and Aftonbladet.se in December.

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Read more:  From  2018/03/05

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