The tweet was up and gone from the official McDonald’s Twitter feed within 20 minutes this morning – but for the time it was up, it was a drawing a huge amount of attention:
Not surprisingly, McDonald’s quickly posted that they had been hacked and had taken action to prevent it from happening again:
Twitter notified us that our account was compromised. We deleted the tweet, secured our account and are now investigating this.
— McDonald's (@McDonaldsCorp) March 16, 2017
But not everyone in the twitterverse was so sure that it wasn’t an inside job.
Lily Herman, who writes for Teen Vogue, acknowledges that the tweet was deleted, but wonders what was behind it:
The McDonald's Twitter debacle is either the world's most diabolical PR stunt, or someone reaaaaaally F'd up at Mickey D's HQ.
— Lily Herman (@lkherman) March 16, 2017
Geek girl blog The Mary Sue provided links to numerous social media professionals who suspected that it was instead an unauthorized post by an insider who was willing to pay the price.
Esther Cohen is the social media editor for The Next Web.
Ced Funches is a designer for Vox Media.
And Jeff Yang is a contributor at CNN.
I'm going to go lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Social Media Intern today pic.twitter.com/K9tTjaU3qs
— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) March 16, 2017
There was a brief flurry of the #BoycottMcDonalds hashtag, but it doesn’t seem to have really taken off.
Of course, the irony of it all is that President Trump has a history of saying kind things about McDonald’s on social media.