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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke June 28, 2022

Photo from 2015 wrongly described as showing aftermath of Greta Thunberg speech in 2022

If Your Time is short

  • This photo is from 2015. 

Climate activist Greta Thunberg recently gave an impassioned speech at the annual Glastonbury Festival in England about the dangers of unmitigated climate change.

In the days since, some social media users have been sharing a photo that seems to suggest Thunberg’s fans aren’t actually so serious about the environment. 

"The very same people who cheered and applauded Greta when she went on stage at the Glastonbury Festival and told them to ‘save the environment’ left Glastonbury looking like this," said one post sharing a picture of a field in front of a stage littered with trash in debris. 

But a reverse image search turned up the same image published seven years ago. 

This 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.)

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The Daily Mail published it with an article on June 29, 2015, with this caption: "Detritus: a reveller gingerly steps through the sea of rubbish near the Pyramid Stage as the 45th Glastonbury Festival comes to an end." 

We didn’t find evidence that Thunberg appeared there that year. 

We’ve previously fact-checked other posts seeking to contrast climate change activists' avowed values with their eco-unfriendly actions. One photo shared in 2019 was described as showing the aftermath of a climate strike demonstration. In reality, it showed a mess left after an event held months earlier for 4/20, a cannabis culture celebration. 

Thunberg has also been a frequent target of misinformation. Inaccurate conspiracy theories have made claims about her personal life and activism, such as one allegation that her efforts are part of a PR stunt being coordinated by her parents and a businessman, Poynter reported. That among other claims has been debunked. 

We rate this post False.


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Photo from 2015 wrongly described as showing aftermath of Greta Thunberg speech in 2022

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