Greta Thunberg’s tweet about Andrew Tate’s “small dick energy” — part of an exchange prior to Tate’s Thursday arrest in Romania on human trafficking, rape, and organized crime charges — is reaching a new echelon of popularity for a single tweet.
Thunberg’s tweet is quickly approaching the No. 5 all-time spot for likes in the first two days since Thunberg posted it to Twitter on Wednesday. At more than 3.6 million likes as of this writing, the tweet — which asked Tate to “enlighten” her by emailing her at the fictional email address “[email protected]” — is now cemented, at the very least, as one of the top six most-liked tweets of all time.
While Wikipedia has prematurely crowned Thunberg’s tweet as the No. 5 most-liked tweet, as of writing, the spot still belongs to former president Barack Obama’s second-most liked in history. It is his comment on the shocking death of NBA star Kobe Bryant in January 2020. That tweet generated 3,686,713 likes on the platform. Thunberg’s currently has 3,638,335.
The most popular Obama tweet, at No. 3 on the list, brought over 4 million likes for its message of unity in August 2017, eight months into President Donald Trump’s divisive tenure as Obama’s successor as chief executive.
Journalist Alejandra Caraballo called attention to the Thunberg tweet when it broke the top-25 barrier on Thursday afternoon, reaching 2.8 million likes. She underpredicted at the time, “It could easily hit the top ten by the weekend,” and declared, “This is absolutely legendary.”
It’s got a way to go before reaching the most popular tweet of all-time status, though. The likes record, at more than 7 million, is held by the family of actor Chadwick Boseman, who posted from his account to announce his unexpected death in August 2020.
While much of the attraction of Thunberg’s tweet comes from taking down Tate — a controversial online figure who proudly brands himself as a “misogynist” and has only recently made his return to Twitter — it also is a key inflection point in the developing saga around Tate.
As reported by numerous news outlets, Tate’s video response to Thunberg — which has garnered more than 16.4 million views (according to Twitter’s view count feature) but a comparatively-low 248,000 likes as of Friday — included a pizza box from a Bucharest-based pizza chain. That detail was first believed to have allowed Romanian officials proof that Tate was in the country which consequently led to his arrest. It has since been debunked.
Still, Thunberg provided additional clapback regarding the pizza box theory on Friday via Twitter, quipping, “This is what happens when you don’t recycle your pizza boxes.”
That tweet has already garnered more than 2.5 million likes in its first 14 hours on the platform, closing in on the all-time top 30 — which starts at the 2.8 million mark, with a back half that is predominantly tweets from members of Korean pop group BTS.
Update, Dec. 30 5:07 p.m. CT: Thunberg’s tweet officially surpassed Obama’s for the No. 5 spot, and continued to approach the 3.7 million milestone as users kept liking the tweet.