Viral footage does not show the demolition of a McDonald’s restaurant in China or Russia

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Original article (in BCS) was published on 18/01/2024; Author: Marija Manojlović

A video of the demolition of a McDonald’s restaurant in Kansas is being shared on social media with claims that it was made in Russia or China.

On January 3, 2024, a video of a construction machine demolishing a McDonald’s advertising sign was published on Telegram. In the description of the post, it is claimed that the video was made in China.

Demolishing McDonald’s in China

We found an identical post on another Telegram account.

A shorter version of this video was previously shared with claims that it shows the demolition of a McDonald’s restaurant in Russia. We found this claim in a Facebook post published on December 28, 2023. The reel has been shared about 1,600 times.

What are the facts?

The viral footage does not show the demolition of a well-known fast food chain in Russia or China. It was created in Kansas, in the United States of America, in 2018. The footage was also shared outside of our area with claims or implications that it was made in Pakistan or Qatar, and the demolition of the facility was linked to the war in Gaza and the boycott of this fast food chain. These claims have been refuted by foreign fact-checking platforms MisbarLogically fact and Only fact.

Simpson Dirt Construction, a Kansas-based company, posted this footage on its social media in July and October 2018. In both posts, it is clear from the description that the video was made in Pratt (a city in the state of Kansas). YouTube channel Simpson Dirt Construction posted a video (archived) with the title “McDonald’s Demolition”. The description of the post states the following: “We demolished a McDonald’s in Pratt. There was no lunch that day! 😂 Pratt”.

According to the YouTube channel description, this company provides “excavation, site preparation, dumpster rental, trash removal, demolition, dirt, rock and gravel hauling services” in Pratt and Wichita.

In the analysis, Logically fact points to the text of the local media in which it is reported that the McDonald’s facility was closed at the beginning of July 2018 to remove the old one and build a new one.

Claims that the footage shows the demolition of a McDonald’s facility in Russia were addressed by Faktograf in an analysis published on January 2 of this year.

In the analysis, Faktograf explains that after the Russian attack on Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the company’s management announced the temporary closure of the restaurant and the suspension of work in Russia. After the subsequent sale, the branches were opened under a new name.

After the company announced that it would exit the Russian market and started the process of selling its Russian business, in May 2022 it concluded a sales contract with its existing licensee Alexander Govor. Under that deal, he took over McDonald’s entire restaurant portfolio and can operate the restaurants under the new brand. In June of the same year, these branches were opened under a new name — Vkusno i tochka.

Since the beginning of the war in Gaza in October 2023, McDonald’s has been the subject of disinformation on several occasions, and some of that disinformation was dealt with by Raskrinkavanje. A video went viral on social networks in which a blue-and-white branded wrapper from a McDonald’s restaurant was incorrectly presented as proof of support for Israel. Some media presented the farmers’ protest against the import of foreign meat in front of McDonald’s in France as a protest against the company’s alleged support for Israel.

McDonald’s is an American multinational corporation, and restaurants of this brand, apart from the USA, are located in over 100 countries and territories in the world. A large number of these restaurants operate independently and are owned by local companies that bought their franchise. After the escalation of the conflict in Israel and Gaza and the announcement by the owners of the McDonald’s franchise in Israel that they will distribute free meals to the Israeli army, McDonald’s franchise owners in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain and Turkey have distanced themselves from their Israeli counterparts. and collectively promised aid to the Palestinians. In early November, the corporation issued a statement emphasizing that McDonald’s “does not support or finance any government in the conflict between Israel and Gaza” and that the actions of their business partners, who are local franchise holders, were undertaken independently, without the consent or approval of McDonald’s.
Therefore, we evaluate the first publication of the claim suggesting that the video of the demolition of McDonald’s was made in Russia or China as fake news. Other publications of these claims are rated as the dissemination of fake news.