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Swedish mums threatened for breastfeeding video

Published torsdag 25 april 2013 kl 15.50
"They said they would murder the kids"
(5:38 min)
The video was called "Du kan amma här": you can breastfeed here. Photo: Screenshot

A group of mothers made a music video, in support of breastfeeding in public. But they got a lot of negative reactions, including death threats.

The Swedish association Amningshjälpen is a support group that promotes breastfeeding. They decided to make a light-hearted video based on the Korean music sensation "Gangnam Style", and uploaded it to the video sharing website YouTube.

But then people started to post abusive comments, to the video itself on YouTube, and also in a popular discussion forum called Flashback.

The newspaper Aftonbladet reports that the comments included "I'll take my revenge by murdering their children." Another wrote "permission to shoot?" and a third: "Does anyone have these people's personal details so I can harass them?"

Writing in the Nyheter 24 news website social media correspondent Jack Werner described the abuse as coming from people who were in some way offended that women, mothers, should get involved in Internet humor that certain nerds see as their private domain. And that other aspects of the hatred are a panicked reaction from a "macho culture" that only wants to see breasts on the Internet as connected to sex.

Anouk Jolin, one of the people who made the video, says to Radio Sweden that they took the video down from YouTube, not because of the abuse, but because they did not have the copyright for the song. By then it had already been seen 39,000. Someone has now put up a copy, which has been viewed over 65,000 times.

Anouk Jolin says that they want to make breastfeeding a normal part of everyday life, and saw the video as a way to raise the issue. She says that people are free to think that the video is bad, but threatening the children, or asking for their personal details is unacceptable, and they have reported the matter to the police.

But a police spokesman says to Aftonbladet that they would find it too hard to prove exactly who was at the keyboard writing the threats, and they will not pursue the case.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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