The old adage goes, “Trust, but verify.” On Twitter, the verification part often gets left out.
Over the weekend, Twitter users made #SeriouslyMcDonalds a trending topic as they passed around an image of an official-looking notice claiming the chain was charging African-American customers $1.50 extra for insurance purposes.
The picture was a hoax. Bloggers even discovered that it wasn’t new—it had been passed around online about a year ago.
McDonald’s reacted to the widening reach of the photo with reply tweets that read: “A senseless & ignorant hoax. We value all customers. Diversity runs deep in our culture—on both sides of the counter.”
But was that enough?
Jim Satterfield, president of Firestorm Solutions, says reining in an online hoax is like trying to “unring the bell,” but he said McDonald’s has mostly handled it well. Other crisis communications experts agreed. Are tweets enough?