After maggot-infested chicken tweet went viral, McDonald’s Malaysia considers taking legal action

McDonald’s Malaysia has issued a statement that it may take action against false claims online. According to the fast food chain, there are media articles and comments on social media that made false claims about their food.

While they acknowledge that every individual has the freedom to voice out on social media, they urge the public to be mindful of the content that they share so that no reputation is questioned based on unsubstantiated and unverified claims. McDonald’s also stresses that unnecessary fear and alarm shouldn’t be spread among netizens.

McDonald’s has iterated that food safety is of the utmost importance and they place great emphasis on quality control and they follow rigorous standards in the preparation of their food. According to their statement, they are currently seeking legal advice with a view of court proceedings against the netizen and those who have reposted or republished her article. The restaurant says they will not hesitate to take necessary action including legal recourse against those who try to tarnish their brand and reputation.

Without mentioning specifics, it appears that the fast food chain is not amused by the tweet made by @rabbykrabby. She recently posted a picture of a fried chicken covered with maggots which alleged to be from McDonald’s. After the post went viral, the original tweet was deleted, followed by an apology posted on the 24th of September 2020.

Source: @ATMology

She admitted that the food was purchased several days before and it was kept at room temperature which caused it to be contaminated. She apologised for implying that McDonald’s had served expired, dirty and infested food which became viral across social media including WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and other online media.

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After she posted her apology, netizens have criticised her for causing unnecessary fear, and her action would have affected people’s livelihood. Some had pointed out that if she genuinely had issues with her food, she should have brought it up to the restaurant manager instead of trying to make it viral.

Sharing fake news is a serious offence especially when it is defamatory in nature. Last month, a woman was detained for sharing fake news about a supermarket shutdown due to COVID-19 on Facebook. She claimed to have received the information from a WhatsApp group and she shared it with the intention of reminding others to be extra cautious.

It was reported that the case is being investigated under Section 500 of the Penal Code which carries a prison sentence of up to two years, or with a fine or both.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the authorities have constantly reminded the public not to spread falsehood and misinformation about the coronavirus. Sharing false information is an offence under Section 505 of the Penal Code and it’s also a violation under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA). As always, don’t share if you’re not sure.


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Alexander Wong