Danish diversity ad a massive social media hit

A new ad from the Copenhagen-based travel search engine Momondo has struck a nerve by showing Danes that they’re not quite as Danish as they think.

Danish diversity ad a massive social media hit
The video was shared heavily in Denmark. Screenshot: Momondo
A new ad from Momondo showing that people around the world are much more closely related than they think has been shared massively on social media since its release on Thursday. 
The five-minute ad, filmed in Copenhagen, has been viewed over seven million times on Facebook and another million times on YouTube. In Denmark alone, it has been shared well over 13,000 times. 
The ad aims to prove that “we actually have much more in common with other nationalities than you’d think”. Collaborating with the genetic research company AncestryDNA, the campaign brought 67 participants from around the world to the Danish capital in April and filmed them receiving their own DNA results. 
The participants have strong emotional responses to learning that their background is much more diverse than they had thought. 
“The DNA project supported our assumption that many of us do not know our full origins and that it changes our view of other nationalities when we get to know where we really came from. It was an eye-opener and an emotional journey for out test subjects,” Lasse School Hansen from Momondo said in a press release. 
A survey conducted by Momondo among 7,200 people in 18 countries showed that the majority of respondents think their DNA can be traced back to a maximum of two countries. Amongst 400 Danish participants, six out of ten thought that their heritage would at most include one additional country besides Denmark. 
“With the survey we wanted to find out whether people knew their own personal heritage. We assumed that people underestimated their own genetic diversity, and everything [in the DNA results] points to the fact that we have more in common with the rest of the world than we think,” Hansen said. 
Of course, Momondo’s campaign isn’t merely about spreading a message of diversity and tolerance. It is also meant to get people to use the company's services. To that end, the ad is part of a contest that will give 500 people worldwide the chance to map their own DNA to find out where they really come from. Winners of the DNA kits are then asked to shoot a video of their reactions to the results. One of those entries will then be given a free ‘DNA journey’ to visit the countries revealed in their genetic profile. 

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Norway Uni pulls coronavirus message citing ‘poorly developed’ US health system

One of Norway's leading universities has been forced to change a message warning overseas students of the US's "poorly developed health services", after it was dragged into a storm of criticism on social media.

Norway Uni pulls coronavirus message citing 'poorly developed' US health system
Norwegian University of Science and Technology is one of Norway's leading universities. Photo: NTNU
Over the weekend, the Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology posted a message on its Facebook page for its students on international postings,  advising them to heed the latest advice from Norway's foreign ministry on the coronavirus pandemic, and return back to Norway. 
“This applies especially,” the message said, “if you are staying in a country with poorly developed health services and infrastructure and/or collective infrastructure, for example the USA.” 
But on Monday, after a storm of social media criticism, the message was changed, stripping out all mention of the US. 
Anne Dahl, communications advisor for the university's rector, told state broadcaster NRK that the university had decided to change the post because the furore was distracting people from the serious underlying message. 
“We do not want the expression of a single phrase to overshadow important information, so the specific wording about the US was removed,” she wrote in an email. 
The original wording was quickly picked up by Twitter commentators in the US. 

It then got viral news coverage, with both conservative outlets like Fox News, and left-of-centre newspapers like the UK's Independent picking up the story. 
Several people flocked to the original post to attack the university in the comments. 
The post was then changed on Monday to remove all reference to the US.