Rumor: McDonald's charging additional $1.50 for African-American customers?

Sign posted on restaurant windows claims it was insurance measure due to recent robberies

UNCONFIRMED: The hoax began making the rounds in fall of 2010

According to rumor-fixing website, Snopes.com, someone apparently printed out the message in mid-2011, taped the sign to a store window of what appears to be a McDonald's, and it quickly went viral. The hoax has resurfaced again, forcing McDonald's to dispel the rumor on Twitter today.

The picture, initially posted on Twitter under the hashtag, #seriouslymcdonalds, in 2011 and since removed from the site, proclaimed, in part: "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."

Naturally, the Twitterverse became all atwitter, with users forwarding the photo at a rapid rate. According to Gizmodo.com, the topic achieved a place on Twitter's "Trends" list. The photo also made it on to a June 17, 2010, blog post called McServed.

McDonald's frantically went into damage-control mode. Heidi Barker, a McDonald's spokesperson, told Fox Business it was a "completely senseless, ignorant hoax by some pranksters." The company also jumped on its official Twitter account, assuring the public that "diversity runs deep in our culture on both sides of the counter," according to Snopes.

When the photo continued to gain momentum on Twitter, McDonald's was forced to issue a statement hoping to dispel the PR nightmare.

"This is unfortunately an example of how rumors can outspeed the truth," said Rick Wion, McDonald's director of social media.

The dead giveaway that it was all a hoax? The toll-free number at the bottom of the sign is the contact number for Kentucky Fried Chicken.

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