These big tech companies really do think of themselves as nations unto themselves, don’t they? For example: Google. Even as chairman Eric Schmidt jets around the world, lecturing nations on the benefits of a free and open Internet, the team back home is pressuring Sweden.
What on Earth could the Swedes have done to piss off Planet GOOG?
Citing health concerns, Ecuador has asked the British government to guarantee medically related safe passage for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Mr. Assange, who faces allegations he assaulted two women in Sweden in 2010, has been living inside Ecuador’s London Embassy since June. British authorities have insisted they will arrest Mr. Assange should he leave the embassy, but Reuters reports that Albuja Martinez, Ecuador’s vice foreign minister, seeks a formalized exception:
The official Twitter account for the country of Sweden has tweeted relatively uneventfully following its Henry Blodget moment back in June, when a Swedish citizen named Sonja dispatched some questionable tweets about Jewish people. But this week’s Swedish tweeter is Naseer Alkhouri, a “homeopathic Swede” who develops games for a living. In addition to tweeting adorable fruit sculptures and a treatise on citizenship, the issue of sexism in gaming appears close to Mr. Alkhouri’s heart. For the past couple of hours, he’s used the platform–which boasts close to 68,000 followers–to broach the sensitive topic.
As rumored, Ecuador officially granted Wikileaks founder Julian Assange asylum today, according to the BBC. The Ecuadorian foreign ministry claims that its decision was based on the fact that Mr. Assange’s human rights may be violated if he is extradited to Sweden for those “hilarious” sexual assault allegations.
Days after the New York Times chronicled Sweden’s plans to hand its Twitter account over to a new citizen each week, the idea seems to have hit a PR snag. This week’s tweeter, a 27-year-old mother named Sonja Abrahamsson, appears to have some serious confusion about Jewish people.
This morning, The New York Times exposed the story behind the @sweden Twitter account, an official page owned by the Swedish government that features a different citizen every week. Though Twitter declined to comment on national Twitter accounts, we thought it might be fun to see how other nations are using this highly-valued communications channel. As it turns out, Twitter may be underutilized as a government tool; in fact, most the accounts had been suspended, although Twitter does not explicitly disallow national handles.
Twitter aired its first ever TV commercial yesterday–during a NASCAR race. [AllThingsD]
Everything you wanted to know about the @Sweden Twitter account: “I wanted to show that I’m often kind of immature and often kind of stupid and so is this country, and I bet you are, too, and so are a lot of people around the world.” Think Mayor Bloomberg would let us do something like this? [New York Times]
There is now a Silicon Valley Bank in the U.K. for just technology investments. Discuss bubble implications as you wish. [BBC]
Google is shutting down Meebo messenger: be still my 8th grade heart. [meebo.com]
Facebook’s user growth is slowing, which cannot be good for the company’s already-battered stock. [Wall Street Journal]
No one wants to IPO now that Facebook’s went so terribly. [Wall Street Journal]
For your morning rage blackout: Ellen Pao is obviously lying because her husband has sued people before. [New York Post]