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FACT CHECK: Greta Thunberg ‘vegan grenades’ video is fake


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FACT CHECK: Greta Thunberg ‘vegan grenades’ video is fake
An altered video of the Swedish environmental activist makes it appear that she is advocating for ‘vegan wars’ or the use of vegan weaponry and sustainable tanks in wars

Claim: Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg is calling for the use of “vegan grenades” during wars, as seen in a video interview.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The Instagram video containing the claim and posted on November 16 has 263,551 likes, 2,600 comments, and 7,600 shares, as of writing. 

In the video, Thunberg, who appears to be speaking in an interview, says: “Hand grenades, very important. If you use hand grenades, please use vegan grenades. They have a special sticker on them, you really can’t miss them.”

The facts: No, Thunberg did not call for the use of “vegan grenades,” and the video where she purportedly said the statement was altered. The original video of BBC’s November 1, 2022 interview of Thunberg was altered into satirical content. 

Source of the video: A reverse image search revealed that the altered video was first uploaded on YouTube on October 21. The YouTube channel named “Snicklink” uploaded the video with the caption “Greta Thunberg: VEGAN WARS #satire.”

The satirical video made it appear that Thunberg is promoting her alleged book called “Vegan Wars” in an interview on The One Show, a BBC program. The environmental activist was supposedly calling for the use of sustainable tanks and weaponry in wars, such as vegan grenades, battery-powered jets, and biodegradable missiles.  

The reposts of the Snicklink video on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram did not include the satire tag, leading some users to take the video seriously. For instance, an Instagram user commented, “Am I really the only one who thinks this is absolutely the weirdest thing I have ever heard? Vegan Grenades? Really?”

Altered: A deepfake test detected the use of AI voice in the satirical video. In the original BBC interview, Thunberg was talking about climate anxiety. There was no mention of “vegan wars” and “vegan weapons” in any part of the original interview.

Debunked: Several news organizations such as Politifact and India Today have also fact-checked the claim. In its article, Reuters quoted a BBC spokesperson confirming that the video is a deepfake. – Ailla dela Cruz/Rappler.com

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