4chan is a confusing place. Its anonymous user base is just as likely to spend time harassing people over the Internet as it is arrange a killer birthday party for a 90-year-old veteran. The site's latest stunt seems like a combination of both. After a Burger King employee posted a picture of himself standing in a tub of lettuce, 4chan users tracked the employee down and had him fired.
The employee, whose name has not been released to the public, originally posted a picture of himself standing in the restaurant's supply of lettuce with the caption, "This is the lettuce you eat at Burger King."
The photo caused an uproar on the site. While 4channers are an anarchic lot, they don't like people messing with their food. Users checked the photo's metadata to determine where and when it was taken. Within nine minutes, the original poster was tracked down to Mayfield Heights, Ohio. After another three minutes, users had tracked down the contact information of the Burger King in question.
Plans were made to call local news agencies. "Giving the local news station a quick email, we'll see where this goes," one user wrote. "I also cordially invite the fine anons attending the raid tonight to tweet Mayfield Heights local news and show how appalled you are at the local youth."
Another user wrote, "The bar code on the box will tell everything. Sending to BK headquarters."
After another couple of minutes, another user reported that they had just spoken with the store's manager, and he was "pissed," asking for the caller to email him the photograph.
Soon, local paper Cleveland Scene picked up on the story. In an interview with the paper's reporters, Burger King's representatives assured readers that the person responsible would lose their job. "Whoever this is is getting fired," said a shift manager identified only as Andrea. "And whoever the manager was at the time will be fired, too."
Before long, The Huffington Post got involved, and was told that branch managers had identified the perpetrator. Burger King released a full statement last night.
"The restaurant where this photo was allegedly taken is independently owned and operated by a BURGER KING® franchisee, the statement read. "The franchisee has taken swift action to investigate this matter and terminated the employee involved in this incident."
While the perpetrator remains anonymous, some 4chan users are still making plans to publicly identify the lettuce vandal.
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