Home / Post
COVID-19 conspiratorial thinking confirmation bias

Anti-mask message on BBQ restaurant sign is fake

A viral photo of a restaurant sign featuring an aggressive anti-mask statement isn’t authentic. Let’s take a look at the facts.

A Facebook post of a photo that shows a barbecue restaurant sign that reads “We serve pork we do not serve sheep, so take off the stupid mask.” The News Literacy Project has added a label that says "FAKE."
This is not an authentic photo of the sign for Little Pigs barbecue restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina.
The message has been artificially created using an online fake sign generator.

NewsLit takeaway

Provocative signs are optimized to go viral on social media; they’re pithy, visual and easy to process at a glance. But they’re also often fake. Almost any text in photos is easy to manipulate using basic editing software, but the altered photo in this example was particularly simple to make using a fake sign generator website. This same photo — with the exact same background and details — can be found online with a variety of different messages, including a derogatory anti-Muslim statement and a message mocking then-President Donald Trump.

NLP’s viral rumor rundown is a regular feature in The Sift, its weekly email newsletter for educators, and in Get Smart About News, its weekly email newsletter for the general public. You can subscribe to these newsletters here. Send suggestions, questions or feedback on this rumor or on the viral rumor rundown blog to thesift@newslit.org.