In a matter of a day, the tweet had almost 50,000 retweets.
Olive Garden is funding Trump's re-election in 2020. It would be terrible if you shared this and Olive Garden lost business.— Dennese Edgerton (@LilleyDennese) August 25, 2019
About 10 hours after the tweet was posted, Olive Garden became aware of it and issued a tweet saying the claim was false. They said they do not donate to presidential candidates. But it was too late, the damage was done. Olive Garden’s fact check received fewer than a thousand retweets.
We don’t know where this information came from, but it is incorrect. Our company does not donate to presidential candidates.— Olive Garden (@olivegarden) August 26, 2019
Apparently, rumors had been spreading on a smaller scale about Olive Garden’s supposed ties to Trump for a while now: on August 9th Olive Garden had to send out an internal notice to employees to clarify to customers that the company does not in fact support the president.
OLIVE GARDEN DOESNT FUND TRUMP!! They posted this up at my job. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/ZB62nZecW2— Jasmine Gonzalez (@queenjxsmine) August 21, 2019
Media Matters for America’s Parker Molloy pointed out the absurdity of it all Monday:
But really, people. This is the person you’re all retweeting... pic.twitter.com/sw84k0OYCi— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) August 26, 2019
Knock it off. Seriously. Everyone retweeting that or posting a hashtag about it is just embarrassing themselves.— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) August 26, 2019
This is one of the major downsides to the freewheeling world of social media “reporting.” The information you’re getting might be smart and insightful... or it might be totally made up. Or, and this is perhaps the worst, it could be based on a complete misreading of actual info.— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) August 26, 2019
Why have 37k+ people retweeted a bizarre, unsourced, false claim from a random account? pic.twitter.com/Ydp5ru6TYw— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) August 26, 2019