Chipotle's Facebook Page Consumed By Cat Controversy

Chipotle Mexican Grill claims on its Facebook page that a hacker approved a post on an employee's profile saying she ran over a cat. She appears to have deleted the original comment and posted an excuse on her page and the company's. However, a flood of subsequent posts seems to be outpacing damage control efforts.

Chipotle Mexican Grill claims on its Facebook page that a hacker approved a post on an employee’s page saying she ran over a cat. We have obtained a copy of the original thread that has since been deleted.
Both the employee and the company have posted the same statement on their respective profile and page. The version on Chipotle’s page has garnered hundreds of likes and direct replies, that continue as we post this:

The statement about the cat is completely false. Someone hacked into our employee’s account and posted that update without her knowledge. We at Chipotle respect all animals and would not joke about something like that. We are working with local authorities and hope for a quick resolution. We also ask that you be respectful as this is a difficult situation for our employee. We appreciate your patience.

The post that offended cat lovers had gone up on the Chipotle employee’s profile last Thursday and appears to have remained up for at least 24 hours before getting pulled. A copy of it is below, with names blocked out.

Since the company and employee posted the claim that a hacker approved the post about the cat getting run over, there’s been a flurry of comments on the matter in addition to the hundreds of direct responses to the post claiming a hacker was involved.

These additional posts range from serious assertions that people are gullible and calls for the company to fire the employee to jokes along the lines of “cat burrito” (Disclosure: I have two cats and don’t take offense at references to “feline fajitas” and the like, but understand how some animal lovers might get offended.).

Still others are words of support form die-hard fans of the restaurant chain, saying things like “I love Chipotle” and so on. People are also posting requests that someone explain all of the cat references on the wall.

Clearly, the quantity and frequency of these postings appear greater than what the restaurant chain’s page administrator can keep up with. As one observant commenter wrote, “Chipotle is losing fans.”

Do stories like this make you wish that Facebook offered tools that would help page administrators do better damage control of wall postings? What do you think Chipotle should do about its social media strategy in the aftermath of the cat controversy?