On 22 May 2016 the Facebook page “We Are Change” published the post embedded below, depicting a sign purportedly informing restroom users of the presence of National Security Agency (NSA) “toilet cameras”:
The sign read:
Toilet Cameras are for research purposes only.
Tampering with or disabling the toilet cameras is a Federal Crime punishable up to $8,500 in fines.
For Questions, Comments and Complaints please call 1 (800) 948 8488[.]
Captioned only “Huh?” in the original post, readers weren’t sure what to make of the sign (which bears what appears to be a NSA logo). Many took the photograph as legitimate. However, the claim was easily debunked by looking at the “complaint line” information on the “NSA toilet cameras” sign — the phone number listed was not associated with the NSA, nor with any branch of the federal government:
— Pizza Hut (@pizzahut) March 19, 2012
The inclusion of Pizza Hut’s customer service number was a clear indicator that the NSA toilet sign meme was in fact a prank, not an indication of big government watching the most private aspects of American lives. Not only was the sign a hoax, it’s an old one; it’s been circulating the web since at least 2013.