Racist Picture Hoax Plagues McDonald’s Over The Weekend

There really is no end to the craziness that can spread via Twitter. Hoaxes, jokes gone wrong, rumors and downright lies all find their way onto Twitter quite easily, thanks to the fast-paced spread of news on social media and the urge to retweet everything sensational. So perhaps it’s no surprise that a photo of a racist “policy” apparently adopted at a McDonald’s restaurant went viral on Twitter this weekend, combined with the hashtag #seriouslymcdonalds.

An official looking note taped to the window of a McDonald’s franchise started the vicious anti-McDonald’s tweeting this weekend. It stated that African-American customers would have to pay an extra $1.50 per transaction “as an insurance measure due in part to a recent sting of robberies.”

This photo sparked hours and hours (and thousands of tweets) of misplaced rage at the mega-corporation. It was quickly retweeted time and time again, coupled with the hashtag #seriouslymcdonalds. I guess the “officialness” of the piece of paper, complete with the McDonald’s logo and what appears to be a corporate phone number, caused so many people to believe it was real.

However, as Mashable reports, that “corporate phone number” actually goes to KFC’s Customers Satisfaction line – a strange number for McDonald’s to post, no doubt. And, upon further digging, anyone interested in getting at the truth behind this photo would just have to check out the official McDonald’s Twitter account (@mcdonalds), which had to tweet on Saturday and Sunday to refute the veracity of the pic:

People are still tweeting about the photo, but things have quieted down now. #seriouslymcdonalds is no longer trending, and in between the tweets expressing their rage at the image are several that now reveal it as a hoax.

Still, this just goes to show how quickly news, and pseudo-news, can spread on Twitter. In many cases this is a good thing, but when the “news” is a hoax that likely originated on a message board, it can be severely damaging.

Image via yfrog