English

The VICE Channels

    Photo via Flickr user Mike Mozart

    Wendy’s Savagely Defeats Internet Troll, Then Accidentally Posts Alt-Right Meme

    According to Wendy’s Twitter bio, the pigtailed ginger burger chain joined the site in July 2009. In the seven-plus years since, the someone (or someones) on its social media team have sent almost 84,000 tweets. If you’re doing the math in your head, that averages to 30-ish tweets every day, although if you leave the Wendy’s account open in your browser (which I do, because I’m going to die alone) it seems like it’s always adding @-reply after @-reply to its total.

    “We like our tweets the same way we like to make hamburgers,” Wendy’s wrote in its bio. “Better than anyone expects from a fast food joint.” It lived up to those words this week, absolutely destroying a troll who dared to question its claim that its burgers are “always fresh, never frozen.” You know the story. Everyone knows the story. It has been on Ad Age, Anderson Cooper, and even your great aunt who gets her news from things marked Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: knows the story.

    The TL;DR version? Some dude who calls himself Thuggy-D said that Wendy’s beef patties had to be frozen. Wendy’s shook Thuggy-D off and restated its “never frozen” backstory. He then asked if they “deliver it raw in a hot truck” and then dragged McDonald’s into it, claiming that the golden arches had “a dope ass breakfast.”

    That’s when Wendy’s went in for the kill shot, reminding him that refrigerators are a real thing.

    Thuggy-D responded by temporarily deleting his account and, in the days since he was destroyed by a fictional freckle-faced kid with bows in her hair, the only thing he has tweeted was a two-emoji response to Anderson Cooper’s segment on his beef with Wendy’s beef patties. (It is very possible that he spent the past two days having his bandages changed in an undisclosed burn unit).

    But it’s possible that all of the press about Wendy’s social media savviness went to its head. On Wednesday morning, someone asked Wendy’s if it had “any memes?” because this is a totally normal thing to do in 2017.

    Wendy’s responded by turning its mascot into Pepe the Frog—the cartoon frog that has been appropriated by a symbol by the alt-right, white nationalists, and that guy from your high school who’s started calling everyone a “cuck.” The Wendy-as-Pepe tweet lasted about 15 minutes, before it was swiftly taken down and the brand quickly started tweeting apologies.

    “Our community manager was unaware of the recent evolution of the Pepe meme’s meaning and this tweet was promptly deleted,” Wendy’s wrote.

    The Wendy’s Twitter account has since gone back to answering questions about its favorite version of Halo (“3”) and offering dating advice (“Take your dates to Wendy’s”). What has it learned? What have we all learned? That yesterday’s widely reported savagery (in the internet sense) can be today’s social media stumble. It’s hard to be edgy, Wendy’s, and even the most innocuous-looking meme can be a coded message to somebody who’s currently starching a white sheet.

    “Your food is good and your tweets are fresh,” someone tweeted to Wendy’s, not 15 minutes ago.

    “They are also never frozen,” Wendy’s replied.

    That’s it. Stick with what you know.

    Topics: Burgers, fast food, Pepe the frog, social media, the internet, twitter, Wendy's, WTF