An online hoax involving a sign that supposedly said that McDonald’s discriminates against African-American customers with a $1.50 surcharge is causing an ongoing headache for the restaurant’s PR and social media teams.
The sign, which explained the surcharge “as an insurance measure due in part to a recent string of robberies,” was definitely a fake. As many have pointed out, since the picture of it began circulating last week, the toll-free number given at the bottom of the sign actually connects callers to KFC.
But over the weekend, a photograph of the sign circulated widely on the Internet, inspiring outraged customers to chastise the Golden Arches with the Twitter hashtag, #reallymcdonalds (If people actually believed it was real, the appropriate response, in our view, would have been something along the lines of #ThatsBeyondIllegalMcDonalds. But that’s neither here nor there.)
In response, McDonald’s sent a tweet of its own on Saturday: “That pic is a senseless & ignorant hoax McD’s values ALL our customers. Diversity runs deep in our culture on both sides of the counter.” Tweets, however, have continued, making #reallymcdonalds a trending topic.
McDonald’s reiterated: “That Seriously McDonalds picture is a hoax.” But there’s no telling how many people out there still think it was authentic.
It’s too bad the Twitterverse isn’t as troubled and mobilized by the actual source of harm to the black community from McDonald’s: its entirely nondiscriminatory but artery-clogging menu. How about a hashtag for that?
- Damage Control Follows McDonald’s Racist Sign Hoax (theroot.com)
- McDonald’s in Trouble After Racist Sign Hoax (newser.com)
- Seriously? Racist McDonald’s Sign Is Obviously a Hoax (mashable.com)
- ‘Seriously McDonalds’ Hoax-Pic Angers Internet, McDonald’s [Hoaxes] (gawker.com)
- ‘Seriously McDonalds’ Hoax-Pic Angers Internet, McDonald’s [Viralism] (gawker.com)