Claim:   McDonald’s employee Bubba Conroy admitted on Twitter to spitting on food served to white customers.


FALSE


Example:   [Collected via Twitter, January 2015]


THIS JUST IN
Thinking of eating @McDonalds today? If so you might want to make sure @bubbaconroy doesn’t work there!


 

Origins:   On 5 January 2015, an article titled “‘F-CK WHITES’: Black Woman Brags via Twitter About Spitting in ‘White Peoples Food'” began to circulate via social media. The article in question included a screenshot of what may or may not have been an actual tweet, and a single paragraph:



Bubba Conroy is ‘getting back’ at white patrons at McDonald’s for ‘slavery.’ I know … it only makes sense if you’re a liberal grievance monger. Her Twitter account has been suspended.

As the claim stated, the Twitter account for @BubbaConroy had been suspended or deleted. However, the screenshot of the tweet in question was dated 9 June 2014. The site did not explain why a tweet from several months earlier suddenly warranted a flurry of concern over the integrity of McDonald’s food.

There are several suspicious elements of the “Bubba Conroy” controversy. One is that the blog post responsible for the social media outcry often linked to a Facebook page

called “Liberal Chick,” a clear parody account designed to satirize stereotypical progressive ideals. The content was rife with deliberate misspellings and seemed to focus solely on claims initially made by the site that circulated the Bubba Conroy rumor.

Moreover, the date appended to the tweet (June 2014) was smack in the middle of a larger series of social media hoaxes designed to satirize progressives on social media sites. The most visible achievement of the campaign was the “End Father’s Day” prank, which suggested feminists sought to eliminate that holiday from the calendar. While the hoax was quickly rumbled, several media outlets and celebrities were fleeced by the claims.

Issues such as rape, racism, body image, and others were included in the months-long string of media hoaxes:



The prank was started by 4chan’s politically incorrect board, /pol/, in an effort to rile up feminists and make them (and men) look like idiots.

[#EndFathersDay was] part of a six-month-long prank war 4chan launched against feminists.

The first prank to get traction was Operation Bikini Bridge in January, a scheme started by 4chan’s random imageboard /b/. The objective was to spam social media and get news organizations like CNN to report that the bikini bridge – what happens when a bikini bottom is stretched between the two hipbones – was a shocking new fashion phenomenon, the next wave of “thinspo” or pro-anorexia social media.


Notably, a search for the Twitter handle in question turned up just two types of result: individuals complaining about the McDonald’s rumor, and a mention on an archive of the 4chan board (/pol/) found to be the original source for all the fake claims attached to the 2014 Twitter pranking. The handle is mentioned in a larger planning discussion of the social media hoaxes. One user explained the objectives of the hoaxing:



1) how long it naturally takes for your ilk to appreciate an insincere idea among their ranks.

2) how fucking deranged you are in relation to what you can tolerate (many delusional feminists tried to run with that *endfathersday shit)

3) poison the well so further discussion among you in twitter can’t happen without suspicion

4) disclose to the mainstream the mental contortion necessary for the movement to function and it’s inevitable reward of leaving you a hate filled, dogmatic, delusional shell of a person, ready to stab your comrades in the back at the first opportunity to claim victimhood


A Reddit discussion posted on 15 June 2014 in the 4chan subreddit also mentioned the @BubbaConroy account in a list of fake Twitter users. After the January 2015 article about the Bubba Conroy controversy, McDonald’s addressed the claims on Twitter:

While McDonald’s has not stated the Bubba Conroy account is definitively fake, all evidence points to a hoax. It’s not clear whether the site responsible for resurrecting the fake Twitter user’s tweet in January 2015 was aware of its history, but the domain in question is itself linked with a fake social media account masquerading as real. It’s safe to say McDonald’s customers can rest assured no one named Bubba Conroy been tampering with their Big Macs.

Last updated:   7 January 2016