Debunking the McDonald’s “Black Tax” Photo

An image allegedly shows a McDonald's restaurant that wanted to charge African-American customers a $1.50 tax for insurance purposes. Is this image real or fake?

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It’s fake.

The image is believed to have originated from the 4chan message board in 2010, and went viral briefly in the summer of 2011 on Twitter with the hastag #seriouslymcdonalds briefly trending in response. It still occasionally pops up again on various social networks.

The image itself reads:

Please Note:
As an insurance measure due in part to a recent string of robberies, African-American customers are now required to pay an additional fee of $1.50 per transaction
Thank you for your cooperation.

McDonald’s took the time to address the photo with tweets on the matter:

  • June 11, 2011: That pic is a senseless & ignorant hoax McD’s values ALL our customers. Diversity runs deep in our culture on both sides of the counter.
  • June 12, 2011: That Seriously McDonalds picture is a hoax

In March 2014, the image circulated again, and McDonald’s refuted:

  • March 3, 2014: An unfortunate hoax and absolutely not true. Thanks.

It should also be pointed out that the phone number listed on the image is not even a McDonald’s number, but in fact belongs to KFC.

Images such as this one, even when completely debunked, end up finding their way back to prominence. So it’s certain that at some point this photo will gain momentum again. If you see someone sharing it, drop a link to this article in the comments to set them straight!

Bottom Line

The sign showing a McDonald’s “Black Tax” is fake and has circulated for several years. McDonald’s has repeatedly refuted this photo as a hoax.

Updated March 3, 2014

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