On Twitter and Reddit, an animated GIF purportedly showing climate activist Greta Thunberg making a face at United States President Donald Trump appeared on September 24 2019 during her appearance at the United Nations’ 2019 climate summit ahead of its 74th General Assembly meeting.
Stills of the image often showed Thunberg’s expression alone:
On Reddit, a GIF shared to r/GIFs appeared to show both Thunberg and Trump, and was titled “Greta Thunberg glares at President Trump”:
Across social media, the photograph drew comparisons to a similar expression captured on gymnast McKayla Maroney’s face in 2012. In the comments, users discussed a larger source for the image, and one shared a Twitter video:
On September 23 2019, The Guardian shared a video titled “Greta Thunberg stares down Trump as he arrives for UN climate summit.” Its caption said:
Greta Thunberg briefly crossed paths with Donald Trump at the United Nations in New York on Monday. Thunberg, the Swedish climate activist, fixed Trump with a steady stare as he arrived at the UN to attend a meeting on religious freedom. The US president decided to snub a major UN climate summit, held on the same day[.]
In separate coverage, the same news organization reported on Trump and Thunberg’s appearances at the United Nations Climate Summit on September 23 2019. NBC News published a transcript of Thunberg’s speech, in which she castigated world leaders for their inaction:
This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet, you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!
You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words and yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!
For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.
Although the photograph or GIF of Greta Thunberg often appeared solely as an image or animated GIF, it was accurately described. In longer videos, Thunberg’s facial expression matched the stills, and Trump was captured entering the frame and speaking.