Stockholm, Dec 17 (IANS) As Swedish climate crisis activist Greta Thunberg courted controversy over her tweet on train travel through Germany back to her home, Twitter users were clearly divided down the middle over the issue.
The 16-year-old posted on @GretaThunberg a picture of herself seated on the floor of a train and wrote: “Travelling on overcrowded trains through Germany. And I’m finally on my way home!” It got 12.8K retweets and 201.8K likes.
German railway, Deutsche Bahn, apologised to her for the inconvenience and maintained that it was working on improving its trains. However, later it deleted its initial tweet and gently chided her for failing to acknowledge the extent to which its train staff went to ensure a seat for her in first class.
“Dear Greta, 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,” said its tweet.
Twitter users posted comments both in support of the teen as well as against her. One user even pointed out that if the train was indeed crowded, how come only she was visible in the tweeted picture.
One post read: “The climate elites don’t travel any other way than 1st class.”
One fan of the Swedish teen wrote: “Keep it up Greta, we need youth to mobilise in action in every nation just like you.”
“They find it easier to criticise the messenger than to understand the message,” remarked one user.
Later, Thunberg posted another tweet: “Our train from Basel was taken out of traffic. So we sat on the floor on 2 different trains. After Gottingen I got a seat. This is no problem, of course, and I never said it was. Overcrowded trains are great signs because it means the demand for train travel is high!” It got 4.2K retweets and 61.7K likes.
A seemingly unruffled Thunberg retweeted a post she said was from a journalist who was on the train with her. In her latest post, she wrote: “Media surprisingly seems to be more interested in a teenager’s train travels than the fact that #COP25 failed.
“But since conspiracy theories are running high, here is what happened. Sometimes it’s lucky that you are travelling with journalists who can confirm the story…”
“I travelled on the same train as @GretaThunberg this weekend. We both sat on the floor in two trains. She sat on a regular seat from Gottingen, me and my colleague from Hannover,” the retweeted post read.