Fake News: McDonald's NOT Celebrating 80th Anniversary By Giving 3 Big Mac Meals For Sharing Post

Fact Check

  • by: Alan Duke
Fake News: McDonald's NOT Celebrating 80th Anniversary By Giving 3 Big Mac Meals For Sharing Post

Is McDonald's celebrating the fast-food chain's 80th anniversary by giving three Big Mac meals to everyone who shares a certain Facebook post? No, that's not true: It is a scam targeted at Facebook users in the United States by someone in India who is not affiliated with McDonald's. Sharing the post created by the fake account will not get you a coupon for food.

The fake offer originated from a post (archived here) initially shared by a Facebook page not affiliated with McDonald's on September 1, 2019 under the title "Every Person Who Shares & Comments 'Free-meal' In Next 24 Hrs Will Get 3 Big Mac Meal FREE!". It opened:

Who doesn't love free food? We at McDonald's are celebrating our 80th Anniversary by giving everyone 3 Big Mac Meals for simply sharing this post then commenting "Thank you for the Free Meals" when done. <3
This promotion is valid through September 2nd.
* Don't forget to Like our page for updates.


Fake birthday and anniversary give-aways are the themes for many social media scams. People don't often look closely enough to realize the offer of free cash, airline tickets, or food are not real. The scammers want you to click and share because the resulting traffic can earn them money or allow them to steal your information. This particular post offers free Big Macs if you share the post:

Every Person Who Shares & Comments 'Free-meal' In Next 24 Hrs Will Get 3 Big Mac Meal FREE!

When Lead Stories clicked onto the purported McDonalds USA Facebook page we immediately knew it was bogus. The real McDonald's page has nearly 80-million followers. This page had fewer than 2,000. The page was created on June 15, 2019 and was originally titled "Trending Tees." It was created and administered by someone in India. While McDonald's has a presence on the south Asian subcontinent, its North American marketing is handled in the United States. This is a screenshot of the transparency information for the bogus page:

Screenshot (69).png

There is nothing on the real McDonald's website or social media accounts mentioning an 80th anniversary celebration.

Another clue: 2019 is not the 80th anniversary of McDonald's. The McDonald brothers operated an innovative fast-food business in California in the 1940s, and the first store that became the prototype for the chain opened in 1948, according to the official company history.

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  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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