Steve Hamilton – Digital Media Director

Andrew Touhy – Senior Account Executive


Within seconds of this being posted to the McDonald’s corporate Twitter account, it was retweeted over 1,000 times and spread across the internet. Knowing that the tweet would be short lived, many Twitter users made sure to archive it.

McDonald’s has since released a statement reading the following:

“Based on our investigation, we have determined that our Twitter account was hacked by an external source. We took swift action to secure it, and we apologize this tweet was sent through our corporate McDonald’s account.”

Was this a true hacking, or is it a disgruntled employee on the way out? Adding yet another tally to a long line of social media hacking incidents begs the question of whether this type of response is the newest PR tactic to shift responsibility for blunders and avoid further pressure.

If it was indeed a hacking, personal/corporate accountability and security must be the priority. A Twitter account often can serve as the voice of the brand so all steps must be taken to ensure that the voice does not become compromised.

If you do lose control over your message, following McDonald’s damage control method is your best bet. Immediately delete the offending message, release a genuine apology, complete a full investigation and take measures to prevent it from happening again.