The Swedish Number’s website invites callers to “talk about anything you want.” After I dialed the number... an automated voice responded: “Calling Sweden. You will soon be connected to a random Swede, somewhere in Sweden.”"...The linked article is in the NYT. The coverage leans cutesy, and there's zero acknowledgement that Sweden might have a tourism problem based on news reports that might lead women to believe that we are not safe walking alone there.
By letting everyday Swedes communicate directly with foreigners, tourism officials hope to present a more authentic picture of the country than one conjured up by a marketing agency, said Magnus Ling, the secretary general and chief executive of the Swedish Tourist Association.
Yes, he acknowledged, the chats could go off the rails. But he had little fear of lewd, meanspirited or even dangerous correspondence — he believed that people have good intentions, he said. And he believed the Swedish people would make good ambassadors for the country.
For example, from last month: "Police defend warning for solo women in northern Sweden." And: "Two 10-year-old schoolgirls molested and a woman's trousers ripped off: Inside the sleepy Swedish town rocked by EIGHT sex attacks in three weeks by migrant men."