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.
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:
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:
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.