A questionable source exhibits one or more of the following: extreme bias, consistent promotion of propaganda/conspiracies, poor or no sourcing to credible information, a complete lack of transparency and/or is fake news. Fake News is the deliberate attempt to publish hoaxes and/or disinformation for the purpose of profit or influence (Learn More). Sources listed in the Questionable Category may be very untrustworthy and should be fact checked on a per article basis. Please note sources on this list are not considered fake news unless specifically written in the reasoning section for that source. See all Questionable sources.
- Overall, we rate Fria Tider (Free Times) extreme right biased and Questionable based on the use of poor sources who routinely fail fact checks, promotion of conspiracy theories and propaganda as well as being labeled as racist and xenophobic by other sources.
Reasoning: Extreme Right, Poor Sourcing, Conspiracy, Propaganda, False Claims
World Press Freedom Rank: Sweden 4/180
Founded in 2009, Fria Tider (Free Times Media LTD) is a Swedish language blog from Tallinn-Estonia that operates under Estonian FT NEWS GROUP OÜ and is owned by Widar Mikael Nord who is also editor-in-chief and publisher.
Funded by / Ownership
Fria Tider (Free Times) is owned by Widar Mikael Nord through Estonian FT NEWS GROUP OÜ. According to OpenCorporates this company is also registered under Free Times Media LTD name in Cyprus and Widar Mikael Nord is the owner. Fria Tider (Free Times) is funded through online advertising, subscriptions, and donations.
Analysis / Bias
According to a Reuters article titled “Right-wing sites swamp Sweden with ‘junk news’ in tight election race”, Fria Tider was mentioned as one of the top three “junk news” sources. The New York Times identifies Fria Tider as among one of four prominent far-right sites with a quote that reads “Fria Tider is considered not only one of the most extreme sites, but also among the most Kremlin-friendly. It frequently swaps material with the Russian propaganda outlet Sputnik. The site is linked, via domain ownership records, to Granskning Sverige, called the Swedish “troll factory” for its efforts to entrap and embarrass mainstream journalists. Among its frequent targets: journalists who write negatively about Russia.”
In review Fria Tider (Free Times) publishes daily news articles in the categories “The Front Page, Economy, Science, Culture and Opinion.” Most of the articles are presented with a strong right-leaning bias in reporting and wording with emotional language such as this “Danish report: Third world immigrants are never integrated” and “Refugee Minor Raped Host Family’s Daughter,” read another“ or “The AFA thugs in the US – this is what they look like”. When it comes to sourcing they typically utilize right-leaning sites such as Breitbart, The Daily Caller, Sputnik, RT, Real Clear Politics, and Wall Street Journal. Many of the sources used on this website have failed fact checks and are rated Questionable.
Editorially, they take far-right positions in support of anti-immigration policy, especially when it pertains to Muslims, as they frequently publish negative articles that highlight crimes. Other topics include anti-Marxism, climate change denialism, and anti-feminist conspiracy theories such as “Feminism drives Swedes to suicide”. Further, the Swedish Media Council has stated that Fria Tider is “part of the radical right-wing populist online environment” and is considered to have “racist”, “xenophobic”, and “Islamophobic” content. In general, the Free Times is a far-right populist news source that has been accused of publishing material that is considered to be questionable.
Failed Fact Checks
- Arminas Pileckas was murdered because he was trying to protect a Swedish girl from sexual harassment by a Syrian refugee. – Unproven
- Swedish police have introduced anti-sexual assault bracelets due to an increase in “refugee rape.” – Mostly False
Overall, we rate Fria Tider (Free Times) extreme right biased and Questionable based on the use of poor sources who routinely fail fact checks, promotion of conspiracy theories and propaganda as well as being labeled as racist and xenophobic by other sources. (M. Huitsing 12/29/2020)