Description: Viral image / Hoax
Circulating since: June 2011 / earlier
Status: Fake / False
Analysis: This is a prank. The sign is bogus. The full text reads as follows:
As an insurance measure due in part to a recent string of robberies, African-American customers are now required to pay an additional fee of $1.50 per transaction.
Thank you for your cooperation,
An internal clue:
Apparently the perpetrators of the hoax wanted to make sure it was easily identifiable as such. If you dial the 800-number listed on the sign, the party you actually reach is KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), not McDonald's. The companies aren't related.
McDonald's tweeted back:
"That pic is a senseless & ignorant hoax," a McDonald's representative tweeted soon after the image "went viral" on June 12, 2011. "McD's values ALL our customers. Diversity runs deep in our culture on both sides of the counter."
McDonald's official statement:
The company also issued a statement for publication on Mashable.com:
The sign is obviously a hoax. As a company and a brand we have a long and proud history of diversity inclusion across our system on both sides of the counter.
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.
Sources and further reading:
'Seriously McDonald's' Hoax Pic Angers Internet, McDonald's
Gawker.com, 12 June 2011
McDonald's Says Offensive Twitter Picture a 'Hoax'
Fox Business News, 13 June 2011
McDonald's Official Statement Condemns Racist Sign
Mashable.com, 12 June 2011
Last updated 02/12/13