A popular video shows a young woman who looks like Greta Thunberg firing a sniper rifle. But it’s not the climate change activist.
The video, which was uploaded to YouTube on Dec. 12, has been shared far and wide on social media. Some users have claimed it shows Thunberg, the 17-year-old Swedish climate activist whose own protests inspired a series of worldwide strikes last year.
"Greta Thunberg fires rifle," reads the title of the YouTube video.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) It has more than 4,000 views on YouTube and about 1,500 interactions on Facebook, according to CrowdTangle, an audience metrics tool.
Using a reverse image search, we found that the person in the video is actually 31-year-old Emmy Slinge from Stockholm. An avid markswoman, she was mistaken for Thunberg after she tweeted a video of herself shooting a rifle Dec. 7.
Thunberg is a common target for online misinformation. After giving speeches to Congress and a United Nations climate summit in September, conspiracy theories about her family spread on social media. Dozens of out-of-context or doctored images of Thunberg also gained traction online.
The YouTube video is similarly inaccurate. We rate it False.
CrowdTangle, accessed Jan. 21, 2020
Poynter, "Hoaxes about Greta Thunberg go after her family, image and activism. But why?" Sept. 30, 2019
SVT Nyheter, "She was mistaken for Greta Thunberg - became a world news," Dec. 14, 2019
Tweet from Emmy Slinge, Dec. 7, 2019
YouTube video, Dec. 12, 2019
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