Footage that appears to show Greta Thunberg calling on militaries to begin using “vegan grenades” has gone viral online, sparking widespread ridicule of the Swedish climate activist. But the video is not legitimate and Thunberg’s speech has been doctored.
Thunberg can seemingly be heard in the clip, which began circulating on social media this month, promoting a book about sustainable warfare during an interview with the BBC.
“War is always bad, specifically for the planet,” Thunberg purportedly says. “If we want to continue fighting battles like environmentally conscious humans, we must make the change to sustainable tanks and weaponry.”
Thunberg also appears to go on to cite the need for “biodegradable missiles” before pleading with soldiers to “please use vegan grenades.”
The minute-long video has been spreading across platforms such as X, Facebook, and TikTok, where users have taken aim at the 20-year-old activist.
“Has she lost her mind?” one user on X asked. “Biodegradable weaponry and vegan grenades.”
“This Pipsqueak @GretaThunberg is far more dumb than I initially thought,” another added.
But there are several glaring issues with the video. For starters, Thunberg’s mouth movements do not line up with her speech.
Secondly, a search for interviews between the BBC and Thunberg shows that the video was actually filmed late last year. In the original clip, the climate activist never makes the remarks she is purported to have made in the recent viral clips.
The audio used in the clip is suspected to have been generated using artificial intelligence. But where did it originate from?
The clip was published just 10 days ago by the German YouTuber known as Snicklink, who even included the term “satire” in the video’s description.
A BBC spokesperson also confirmed to Reuters that the clip was not legitimate.
“We can confirm that the video is a deepfake,” the spokesperson said. “We urge everyone to check links and URLs to ensure they are getting news from a trusted source.”
The video has since been viewed millions of times online. And while some copies of the clip on X have been hit with a community notes tag, many still appear to believe that the footage is real.
Thunberg was also drawn into the recent Israel-Palestine conflict when Israel demanded she condemn Hamas because it “doesn’t use sustainable materials for their rockets,” after she posted an image calling for a ceasefire in the conflict.
Despite its virality, Thungberg has not commented on the satirical video.