Social Media Claim

Fake image shows climate activist Greta Thunberg with George Soros

A Facebook post from September 21, 2019, purports to show climate activist Greta Thunberg with financier George Soros.

The Statement

AAP FactCheck examined a Facebook post from September 21, 2019 by an Australian user featuring an image that shows billionaire financier George Soros and teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg.

The post reads: “One of the biggest scams in history”. It has generated more than 660 shares, 80 comments and more than 140 reactions.


The original photo is of Thunberg with former US vice president Al Gore and was taken in December, 2018.

The Analysis

Greta Thunberg has become the face of the youth global climate action movement since first starting a protest movement outside the Swedish parliament in 2018. In August 2019 Thunberg, 16, crossed the Atlantic in a solar-powered boat, travelling for two weeks before arriving in New York. On September 20 she led a Global Climate Strike in which four million people took part to advocate for government action on climate change. On September 23 she spoke at the UN climate summit where she delivered a call to action and criticised world leaders for their inaction.

Hungarian-born George Soros was dubbed the "man who broke the Bank of England" in 1992, after he gambled about $US10 billion that Britain would be forced to devalue the pound. Faced with a wave of speculators selling the currency, the bank gave in and the sterling was forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism - the currency grid that preceded the euro single currency. Soros walked away with an estimated $US1 billion.

Soros also is chairman of the Open Society Foundations, a network of philanthropic organisations active in more than 120 countries. The foundations aim to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights, and economic, legal, and social reform.

Regarding the image in the Facebook post, the original image can be traced to Thunberg’s Twitter page and is dated December 30, 2018. It features the Swedish 16-year-old with former US vice president Al Gore and reads: “Thank you @algore for being a true pioneer. Very few people have done more. It was an honour to meet you. #climatecrisis #climatebreakdown”. The photo has been altered to replace Gore with Soros.

Thunberg has been consistently targeted online linking her to the “elite globalist movement” - claims that have been found to be baseless. In April 2019 Swedish website Nya Tider published a story, claiming “several well-known wealthy financiers” including Soros were supporting Thunberg. The story was debunked by Wired magazine’s Italian website in May 2019.

The Verdict

Based on the evidence, AAP FactCheck found the Facebook post to be false. The photo of Greta Thunberg and George Soros is an altered version of a photo of Ms Thunberg and former US vice president Al Gore which appeared on her Twitter page in December, 2018.

  • False - The primary claim of the content is factually inaccurate.

First published September 26, 2019, 15:09 AEST