Fact Check

Pepper Faker

Published Aug 17, 2015


FACT CHECK:   Is the popular casual dining chain Chipotle closing all their locations soon?

Claim:   The popular casual dining chain Chipotle will be closing all their locations soon.


Example:     [Collected via Twitter, August 2015]

Origins:    In August 2015, social media users shared what looked like a news article claiming Chipotle (a hugely popular casual dining chain) would be abruptly closing all their locations by the end of the year.

The version above (found on Twitter) featured a headline reading "Chipotle Announced All Stores Will Be Closed by March 2016," with lead-in text stating: "Unfortunate and surprising news from Chipotle Mexican Grill..." A separate version (from the same source) was titled "Chipotle to close at the end of 2015," with preview text stating: "According to Chipotle, they will be closing all restraints [sic] as of January 1st, 2016."

As is often the case with shares of this sort, the surprising "news" appeared to gain traction through users who posted the link without clicking through to read the article. Those who did found these images (alongside suggestions to share the phony stories with social media friends):

Both pages were the work of create-your-own-fake-news generator FeedNewz (now prank.link), a site that allows users to concoct phony article links and prank their Facebook friends or Twitter followers with them. User-submitted FeedNewz hoaxes in the past included claims that the Taco Bell chain was imminently shuttering all their locations, that Channing Tatum had come out as gay, that EastEnders star Danny Dyer had died, that Mountain Dew was being yanked from the market, and that MMA champion Ronda Rousey had been stripped of her title after failing a drug test.

Last updated:      17 August 2015

Originally published:    17 August 2015

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.

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