Fact check: Flood image of BMW with anti-Greta Thunberg sticker is a fake

Fact check: Flood image of BMW with anti-Greta Thunberg sticker is a fake

As deadly floods ravaged Germany and other parts of western Europe this week, an image began circulating on social media — among people speaking multiple languages.

The image showed a BMW partially submerged in the floodwaters. A sticker on the back windshield reads, “F**K YOU GRETA.”(We’ve censored the profanity.)

Greta is presumably Greta Thunberg, the famed teenage environmental activist. So the image created the impression that an aggressive opponent of climate activism had been harmed by the kind of extreme weather event that scientists say climate change is making more frequent.

Numerous people who shared the image said it was “karma.”

Facts First: The image is fake. The original photo, taken in Germany by photographer David Young and published online by the German tabloid Bild, shows the partially submerged BMW but no windshield sticker.

Other fact-checkers have already debunked the fake image with articles in — at least — German, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, and English.

Profane anti-Thunberg stickers do exist and have been spotted on vehicles in Europe. The German news website RND noted that before the fake image went viral, at least one person on Twitter had mused about the possibility of photos showing flooded SUVs bearing such stickers.

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