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Here’s What’s Really Going On With FINNBAY

The instant you read Finnbay.com’s tagline, “HELPS YOU NAVIGATE IN THE DETAIL WHEN YOU ARE IN FINLAND”, you should immediately realize it’s just a hack blog run by a couple of bored non-native-English-speaking, Finnish-woman-chasing jackoffs.

Unless you’re NBC News.   Or the half of Finland who believes the site is funded by the Kremlin.

Seriously, funded by the Kremlin??   I’d hope the Russian government could pen a tagline that doesn’t sound like it was improvised by Borat.  And if they wanted to spread propaganda, they might take the proceeds from their €4.99/month subscription and put it towards an editor.  It’s like if the United States dropped propaganda pamphlets on Afghanistan, but locked them in gumball machines that require a quarter.

Here’s how their infamous coming-out letter kicks off:

    “FINNBAY has been the most successful media intelligence in our lives.”

Whoa!  Move over, Time magazine.  FINNBAY (All caps, All the time) is the new king of late night TV.  Let’s see how this letter ends:

    We will continue what we have been doing each day. Reporting the Facts. Because we have the balls.

FUCK YEAHH!!!!  That line has ‘MERICA written all over it.  I like how “Facts” is capitalized.  What’s more factual than a fact?  A capitalized Fact!  It’s twice as truthy.

My guess?  Finnbay.com is operated by two unemployed foreigners in Finland.  A young Turkish guy named Onur Yalcintas, the Borat of the operation who described Finnbay as “Finland’s most sexy English-language website”.  And a guy living in Rovaniemi, Bruce Stone, presumedly the American with “balls”.

Over a year ago they contacted a bunch of foreigners in Finland, myself included, in search of writers.  Seems like many took the bait and even write about their experiences with Finnbay, kinda creepily, here.  One blogger writes a lengthy description of her time as a Finnbay volunteer and concludes her experience was a “waste of time”.

They created a newspaper-style site and pretended to be an accredited news outlet.  They have a headquarters (to an address that doesn’t exist), branches (probably just where their volunteer authors live) and a switchboard (which apparently leads to a pay-as-you-go mobile phone).

But unlike the daily Facts on FINNBAY, this is all just my speculation.  But I understand their situation.  Back in 2002 as a fresh arrival to Finland I launched “The Finland Journal”, a group blog (before “blog” was a thing) full of volunteers.  Unlike Finnbay, we cited our opinions as “opinions” and would never charge a fee.

Being an unemployed foreigner in a strange land is tough and I applaud a team of writers for working together.  Finland’s homogeneous population can often produce a very one-sided media and outside commentary is very welcomed.

So what’s the real issue here?  That Finnbay.com may not live up to the highest journalistic integrity?  That the trusted NBC News, citing an unknown source, doesn’t either? Or that entire nation is up in arms over some bullshit website?

One thing is certain: Jon Hamm’s penis affirms there is no God.

 

Author Description

Phil Schwarzmann

I'm a writer, stand-up comic, and author of “How to Marry a Finnish Girl” (Gummerus Publishers, 2011). Better! Funner! is where I write. Poorly. More of my jibber-jabber at: www.philschwarzmann.com

  • Finnbay Exposed

    Phil, I think you hit the head on the nail, but I think Bruce Stone is a phony and the site is just run by the Turk, Onur and his “volunteers”. I think the volunteers experiences on that site you mentioned are also faked (written by Onur). Watch how fast Onur will try to bully you now that you wrote this piece. He supposedly has been threatening legal action to everyone who tries to discredit him.

    • http://www.philschwarzmann.com/ Phil Schwarzmann

      Finnbay.com is pumping out a ton of articles each day. They appear to be original pieces – but are most of them syndicated? Seems like someone is doing a lot of writing. Can’t be all from one guy.

  • Dominique

    Bruce is a fake, it’s all over Twitter : #finnbgate
    thanks for the blog mention!!!

    • http://www.philschwarzmann.com/ Phil Schwarzmann

      It’s Bruce Oreck, America’s ambassador to Finland. :-)

      • http://learningaboutfinland.blogspot.com/ Learning About Finland

        Ah ha….interesting.
        We’ll see how this plays out!

  • Finnbay Exposed

    Phil, they are pumping out pieces all day long just because they linked to this other news site called ANSA. They only write a few original pieces. Yea, it’s Bruce Oreck! He’s got some big balls! :)

    • http://www.philschwarzmann.com/ Phil Schwarzmann

      True. That man has big balls.

  • Toby_Archer

    I reckon you’re pretty close to reality here Phil. I totally agree that if they were really some clever psy-ops thing, the quality of the English wouldn’t be so poor!

    • http://www.philschwarzmann.com/ Phil Schwarzmann

      IT’S PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE!!!! Lol.

      • Astara

        Note how quickly the Finnish government managed to turn the blame at Russia. Just mention the possibility that, maybe, it just MIGHT be Russians behind this and everyone is foaming at the mouth.

  • Finnay Exposed

    Phil, you got quoted and mentioned in the Economist online edition. :)

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2014/04/finland-and-russia

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