Document.no is often described as a Norwegian right-wing, social conservative, nationalist website, which describes itself as a "blog on politics, public debate, media criticism and culture." The website's founder and editor is Hans Rustad (born 1950), a native of Eidsvoll and a former journalist. The website holds positions that are critical towards some aspects of Islam and immigration, and often supportive of Israel. The National Library of Norway classifies document.no under "current periodicals," and as focusing on culture, politics and political science. The website was founded on 14 January 2003, and is owned and published by the limited company with the same name. By 2011, the website reached an audience of up to 40,000 unique visitors every week.
The blog received global media attention in July 2011 as it turned out Anders Behring Breivik was a frequent reader and commenter at the site. According to the Financial Times, document.no is "a website rife with anti-Muslim and hard right rhetoric." The Vancouver Sun describes it as "a far-right web forum" that is "dominated by Islamophobic and anti-immigration commentary".
Aftenposten described it in 2009 as "an Islam-critical and Israel-friendly, so-called blue-blog". The Norwegian conservative Muslim commentator Mohammad Usman Rana has called document.no "a right-wing populist and Muslimphobic interest group". Helge Øgrim, editor of Journalisten, the journal of the Norwegian Union of Journalists, in July 2011 described document.no as an "anti-immigrant forum which has evolved into a hotbed of galloping Islamophobia." Later, however, he opined in a comment on document.no that he might have gone too far in his criticism of Rustad. The same month, the Financial Times described document.no as "a website rife with anti-Muslim and hard right rhetoric," and Lars Gule described it in the The Vancouver Sun as "a far-right web forum" that is "dominated by Islamophobic and anti-immigration commentary".[dead link] The New York Times described document.no as "a popular conservative Website."
Yvonne Rundberg Savosnick, the former chairman of the Norwegian Union of Jewish Students, mentioned the site in a 2009 feature with the student newspaper at the University of Oslo, Universitas, because of its "critical view of the Norwegian press," although she stateed that she "rarely agreed with everything" on the website
In 2011, Hans Rustad complained to the Professional Committee of the Press over an article in the newspaper Eidsvoll Ullensaker Blad, which described Rustad as a chief exponent of the "brown goo", stating that "it does not matter what the spill call themselves, this is very similar to Nazism" and concluding that "we do not want Behring Breivik, Rustad and other nutjobs to set the agenda". The committee criticized the article, emphasizing that it mostly discouraged the use of the term "Nazi" when referring to individuals.
In 2009 the website was cited by Dagbladet as the main player, when for the first time in Norwegian history, "bloggers" were credited for successfully setting the national political agenda. Document.no had on a daily basis criticized a governmental proposed extension of §185 with regards to "hate speech so that the provision protects the need for a criminal law protection against qualified attack on religions and belief." The proposed bill was met with nearly no exposure in the mainstream media, until close to a month later, although it had been criticizised as an attack on democracy in Danish newspapers. Eventually the bill became criticized as attacking freedom of speech, and an online petition against it was supported by numerous notable figures in Norway. In the end, the government pulled the proposal back.
Anders Behring Breivik
Anders Behring Breivik, the admitted perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks, reportedly posted numerous posts on Document.no and praised the blog owner. According to the BBC, "Anders Behring Breivik left racist, extremist right-wing comments along with fellow anti-Muslims" on the site. He also attended an open meeting of "Documents venner" (Friends of Document), affiliated with the website, in the fall of 2009. Breivik sought to start a Norwegian version of the Tea Party movement in cooperation with the owners of document.no, who initially expressed interest but ultimately turned down his proposal because he did not have the contacts he promised. When Breivik was named as the arrested, the website became unreachable due to an extreme increase in traffic. The blog owner distanced himself from the terrorist attack.
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- Far-right anti-Muslim network on rise globally as Breivik trial opens, The Guardian 14 April 2012
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