FACT CHECK:   Is the popular convenience store chain Wawa closing all its stores?

Claim:   Wawa announced all stores would be closed by January 2016.

   FALSE

Example:     [Collected via Twitter, August 2015]

Origins:    In August 2015, what appeared to be an article reporting the imminent closure of regional convenience store chain Wawa began circulating on Facebook and Twitter.

Links on Facebook included an embedded headline (“Wawa Announced All Stores Will Be Closed By January 2016”) and a preview excerpt reading: “Due to a lack of business Wawa…” It seemed many users declined to click through before sharing the seemingly pertinent headline, as those who did subsequently viewed this image:

wawa closed

Claims about Wawa’s imminent closure were the product of hoax generator FeedNewz (now prank.link), which allows social media users to create phony news stories. Among FeedNewz‘s user-submitted pranks were fake articles claiming that Taco Bell was shutting down all its locations, that Channing Tatum had come out as gay, that EastEnders star Danny Dyer had died, that Mountain Dew was to be cancelled, that MMA champion Ronda Rousey was stripped of her title after failing a drug test, and that the coffee chain Dutch Bros. was closing all its locations.

Last updated:      21 August 2015

Originally published:    21 August 2015