On Dec. 28, 2022, 19-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg set Twitter on fire with her response to a taunting tweet from former kickboxer and social media influencer Andrew Tate, who had only recently been reinstated to the platform after being permanently banned in 2017 for violating its terms of service. Tate has often been "mired in controversy" and "heavily criticised for his 'misogynistic' views," according to the Independent. He has been banned from multiple social media platforms.
The tweets from both parties were real and authentic. Tate tweeted from his Twitter Blue verified account and Thunberg tweeted from her legacy verified account. Both have millions of followers.
"Hello @GretaThunberg," Tate tweeted on Dec. 27. "I have 33 cars. My Bugatti has a w16 8.0L quad turbo. My TWO Ferrari 812 competizione have 6.5L v12s. This is just the start. Please provide your email address so I can send a complete list of my car collection and their respective enormous emissions."
Thunberg replied the next day: "yes, please do enlighten me. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org."
The pair of tweets had racked up more than 80 million impressions as of this writing. Thunberg's reply alone had earned over a million likes.
Thunberg, who was named Time magazine's youngest-ever Person of the Year in 2019, became an activist in 2018 at the age of 15, by demonstrating outside the Swedish Parliament for stronger action against climate change. The resulting publicity made her an international figurehead for the environmental movement, and also a target of political hatred.