Viral Post Uses Altered Audio of Interview with Greta Thunberg

Viral Post Uses Altered Audio of Interview with Greta Thunberg

Quick Take

In a 2022 BBC interview, Greta Thunberg recounted the story of how she got started in environmental activism. However, a recent social media video purports to show that Thunberg advocated for the use of “vegan grenades” and eco-friendly military weaponry by misleadingly editing the audio from that interview. The modified film was first posted on a website that classified it as satire.

Full Story

As we’ve previously reported, Greta Thunberg, a 20-year-old Swedish climate activist, has frequently been the target of false information online. With fake quotes attributed to her, Thunberg has once again become a target amid the wars in the Middle East and Ukraine.

According to a widely circulated video that conservative comedian Terrence K. Williams posted on Instagram on October 24, Thunberg is seen endorsing the use of “sustainable tanks and weaponry” in military conflicts. Williams, who frequently disseminates false information, received more than 17,000 likes on the post.

“There are so many new concepts for battery-powered fighter jets that can carry many more missiles—biodegradable missiles, of course,” is what Thunberg appears to be saying in the video. “Please use vegan grenades if you use hand grenades,” she is also heard saying. There should be no animal sacrificed in this chaos and mayhem. Thunberg ends the video by promoting his new book, “Vegan War.”

The majority of commenters on the post thought the video was authentic. A commenter asked, “Vegan grenades???” jets that run on batteries? What does she smoke, anyway?

However, the video’s audio isn’t authentic. The video was first shared on social media by Snicklink, a self-described “conspiracy comedian,” as fact checkers at India Today discovered.

As seen in this Instagram post shared by another user, Snicklink identified the video as satire in the lower right corner of the post. But Williams removes the satire label from his post.

The audio track on an already-existing video of Thunberg—in this case, her BBC appearance from 2022—was replaced to create the new video. Then, using Deepfake technology, her lip movements were synchronized with a fake audio track.

In the actual video from her interview with the BBC, Thunberg talked about how she got started as an environmental activist: “I started by saving energy at home by turning off the lights, and that led to another thing, which led to another thing, and eventually I stopped flying.” I went vegan, and so forth. I also persuaded my parents to do that after that.

During the BBC interview, Thunberg did promote her new book, but it is called “The Climate Book” rather than “Vegan War.”

Sources

Concerning Terrence William Terrence K. Store. Accessed October 25, 2023.

Press Association. “Live updates | Growing Israeli airstrikes put relief efforts in Gaza in jeopardy.” October 25, 2023.

“Greta Thunberg on addressing climate anxiety | The One Show – BBC,” the BBC said. Vimeo. Nov. 1, 2022.

Maria Butt, Alexander Butler, and others. “Ukraine-Russia war – live: Kyiv reports that Putin’s troops are forced to regroup after suffering significant losses in the east.” The Independent, October 24, 2023.

Robert Farley. “Trump Retweets Rep. Omar’s False Attack.” FactCheck.org, September 18, 2019.

“Doctored Photo Places Thunberg, Soros Together,” Fichera, Angelo. FactCheck.org, September 30, 2019.

Jaffe, Alan. “Romney Is Not Changing Parties, Despite Online Allegations.” Aug. 2, 2023, FactCheck.org.

“Posts Misrepresent Pentagon Accounting Errors in Ukraine Aid,” by Brea Jones TruthCheck.org. June 23, 2023.

Andrew, Paul. “People are already fooled by deepfake audio approximately 25% of the time.” Pop Science. August 2, 2023.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal. “Fact Check: This Greta Thunberg video has been edited. There are no vegan grenades or green missiles.” India Currently. October 23, 2023.

Hadleigh Zinsner. “Greta Thunberg Tweet Warning About Climate Change Is Distorted by Viral Posts.” FactCheck.org. June 28, 2023.

Viral Post Uses Altered Audio of Interview with Greta Thunberg

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