Just days after being named TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year,” teenage Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is catching flak for a deceptive photo she posted online appearing to show her sitting on the floor of an overcrowded train – when, in fact, she and her family were traveling First Class.
“Traveling (sic) on overcrowded trains through Germany. And I’m finally on my way home,” Thunberg wrote in the post along with the photo.
Traveling on overcrowded trains through Germany. And I’m finally on my way home! pic.twitter.com/ssfLCPsR8o— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) December 14, 2019
At first, Deutsche Bahn, the German train company on which Thunberg was riding, rushed to apologize to the famed climate activists, who’s spent the last year skipping school to raise awareness of alleged man-made climate change. The company said they were working to improve the conditions of the train and apologized for any inconvenience the crowds may have caused.
But the company reversed position on Sunday, deleting their original tweet and firing off a series of messages calling Thunberg out for having been in First Class seats.
“Dear Greta,” its press department wrote on Twitter. “Thank you for supporting us railroaders in the fight against climate change! We were happy that you travelled with us on Saturday in the ICE 74 ... but it would have been even nicer, had you also reported how friendly and competently you were looked after by our team at your seat in the first class.”
Greta fired back at the company, saying she hadn’t gotten a seat until well into her journey and that she had never accused them of running the train inefficiently. The Guardian, on the other hand, reports fellow passengers said Thunberg was treated as a premiere passenger during her ride.
Of course, I, for one, don’t really care whether a Swedish teenager travels First Class throughout Europe. But I do care when someone who stands on a soapbox built of their own self-righteousness makes deceptive claims online to bolster support.
But then, she is a climate activist. So what would you expect?