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Source: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

Fact-Checking the Anti-Greta Thunberg Propaganda — Are Any of the Theories True?

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In the age of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, the more famous you get, the more hate you get. That’s certainly what Greta Thunberg has experienced over the past 17 months, even though the teenage climate activist certainly never expected to become famous when she staged her first solo protest outside of the Swedish Parliament in August 2018 — or did she? 

As the 17-year-old’s star has risen over the past few months, the skeptics have come out of the woodwork, lodging questionable accusations against the climate activist at every turn. Every time Greta accomplishes something new — from organizing a global protest of millions to being named TIME’s Person of the Year — her critics are there in the comments section with cries of “she’s a paid protester!” and “climate change isn’t real!” 

It seems that most of the people leaving these comments are climate science deniers to a degree, while those responding to the comments in Greta’s defense are those who see that the climate crisis is real (and are worried about it). That said, is there truth to any of the propaganda being spread about Greta and her motives?

It seems unlikely that a teenager who has dedicated herself so fully to a cause would be capable of such manipulation or that she would have motives that were anything but selfless. However, could there be a chance that she is trying to do good while also harboring ulterior motives, as some people in the middle may think? Or are people's opinions on Greta purely a result of their biases towards climate science?

As USA Today points out, the attacks against Greta Thunberg “have mostly avoided facts about climate science and instead gone after Thunberg, her family and her motives.” But even though most of the theories about Greta are personal and not actually disputing scientific claims, it’s important to still look into these accusations and investigate them to see if they hold any merit. Read on for a few of the theories Greta’s haters have put forth, and a look into whether or not they are true at all.