There you are, minding your own business dishing out Angus Chipotle BBQ Bacon Snack Wraps, when—bam!—you are hit by a malicious Internet hoax.
And it’s going viral.
That was the position McDonald’s found itself in recently, as the ever-present legion of conspiracy theorists and gullible buffoons began flooding email in-boxes and social networks with a doctored photo that implied the company was racist.
First the background: The hoax picture showed a Photoshopped sign on the door of a McDonald’s dining establishment with a note saying African American customers must pay an additional $1.50 surcharge for their meals.
You’d think that nobody outside a Hollywood thriller would be so conspiracy-minded as to think a corporation would purposely offend its customers. But Target, Starbucks, Pepsi, and Hershey have also found themselves battling hoaxes in recent years, Barger says.