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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke April 28, 2021

No, a McDonald’s in Maryland wasn’t closed because of a sex trafficking investigation

If Your Time is short

  • This claim is false, according to the town and police.
 

In May 2020, "Town of Elkton MD" created a Facebook account and used as its profile photo the Maryland town’s seal. But the page was quiet until April 26, when the account published a post that started to spread. 

"Big news for Cecil county today, Elkton McDonald’s on Pulaski highway located in the big elk shopping center is being permanently shut down as of 4/27/21 due to a S*x trafficking investigation and international money laundering investigation." 

The post was attributed to a "Town of Elkton public official." 

The following morning, the account posted again: "Apparently joe Biden is linked to the s*x traffickgin scandale at the Elkton McDonald’s." 

But this wasn’t the town’s actual Facebook page, and its claims aren’t real. 

These posts were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

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On the evening of April 26 the town’s actual Facebook account — "Town of Elkton" — posted that the other account is not an official city page and that the information that was posted there "is a fake story." 

"This page is not sponsored or run by the municipality," the post said. "Just beware of what information is on social media."

Later that night, the town’s police department also posted on its Facebook page

"It has been brought to our attention of a fictitious Town of Elkton MD Facebook page circulating a story regarding the closure of the McDonald’s Restaurant located at Routes 213/40," the post said. "We thank everyone for their calls and concerns regarding this account and have made the appropriate notifications to FB." 

No one answered when we called the McDonald’s but the location appears on the company’s website and it’s possible to order delivery from that restaurant. 

We rate this claim Pants on Fire!

 

Our Sources

Town of Elkton MD Facebook post, April 26, 2021

Town of Elkton MD Facebook post, April 27, 2021

Town of Elton Facebook post, April 26, 2021

Elkton Police Department Facebook post, April 26, 2021

McDonald’s 101 E Pulaski Hwy restaurant website, visited April 28, 2021

 

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No, a McDonald’s in Maryland wasn’t closed because of a sex trafficking investigation

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