In 2010, an altered photo posted on the message board 4chan, claimed that McDonald’s was adding a surcharge of $1.50 to the fast food orders of African Americans. The photo explained that McDonald’s reason for this surcharge was due to a recent string of robberies. Unsurprisingly, the image was quickly picked up by twitter users and given the hashtag, #seriouslymcdonalds. The hashtag was paired with many emotion driven responses, from concerned, to disgusted, and the obligatory light hearted and witty ones.
— Jenny Thomas (@JDPWilliamson) June 12, 2011
Despite some users calling out the apparently not-so-obvious falsity of the image, McDonalds was quick to try to debunk the false claims. The chains PR team worked tirelessly to combat the problem, even taking to twitter themselves. But, even with the fast food giant’s initial tweets, the Twittersphere was not receptive and continued to spread the image. In a rather comical, yet necessary ending to the scandal, McDonalds issued a final statement, “The sign is obviously a hoax”, later continuing with, “From our management crew, franchisees — across the board, we’re very proud of our record of diversity. This is unfortunately an example of how rumors can outspeed the truth. Over the last 48 hours we’ve been tweeting and striving to clarify that this is a hoax”.
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.
— McDonald's (@McDonalds) June 11, 2011
As the hoax began to settle, it was revealed that the number at the bottom of the image was actually Wendy’s corporate number, proving that the roasts, rivalries, and fights between fast food chains is a thing of the past, present and future.