Staying with Finland, one of the things that inspired the previous post was the news that Finland is planning to move to a four day, six hour work week.
If you follow the news in some way or form, you’ll have probably seen i. This article has been published in major media outlets such as The Guardian and The Independent, not to mention places like Stuff.
The thing is that this story is false. It’s not part of Finnish policy, and the Finnish government has said that there are no plans for such a work week.
How did this story come into existence?
I’ll state the tldr version, but for a full explanation by a proper Finnish outlet, read the article I linked above.
Back in August 2019, would be PM Sanna Marin suggested that a four day six hour work week could raise productivity, but also stated that this was not government policy.
Fast forward to January 2020, and Marin is now PM of Finland. An Austrian and then a Belgian news outlet pick up on the story, and they frame it as if it’s a) government policy, and b) a new initiative that’s only come about since Marin became PM.
Domino effect, and now the whole world thinks that Finland is going to switch to a four day six hour work week.
While there aren’t really any adverse effects from the spread of this story, it’s still scary – if fake news like this can spread so quickly, what would happen if a more sinister story spread like this one?