Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True
Hoax Alert

Fake News: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Was NOT Fired From Hot Dog On A Stick In 2008 For Incompetence

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Mon, 11 Mar 2019 09:33:51 Z)

Was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fired from Hot Dog on a Stick in 2008 for incompetence? No, that's not true: a meme making that claim uses an actual 2008 photo of a Hot Dog on a Stick worker named "Stephanie" but at the time Ocasio-Cortez was in college in Boston, more than a thousand miles away from the nearest Hot Dog on a Stick location.

An example of the meme appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) where it was published on March 11, 2019:

Screenshot of https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2221793518135655

The picture appears to have been created using the Imgflip meme generator:

Hot dog on a stick Blank Template - Imgflip

Blank Hot dog on a stick template

The source picture itself appently first appeared in 2008 as a Flickr photo by someone named Michael Zampelli:

Hot dog on a stick

Stephanie Prepares Your corndog batter!

The name tag on the hat clearly says "Stephanie", not "Alexandria" or "Sandy" (as Ocasio-Cortez sometimes went).

In 2008 Ocasio-Cortez was studying international relations and economics at Boston University. Boston is in Massachusetts. Hot Dog on a Stick is a snack food chain that originally launched in California and which nowadays operates in seven states. You can check their current location map here:

Hot Dog on a Stick - Participating Locations

Order Ahead and Skip the Line at Hot Dog on a Stick. Place Orders Online or on your Mobile Phone.

here is a screenshot of the map on that site:


It appears the closes state with a Hot Dog on a Stick franchise is Louisiana, which is about 1600 miles away from Boston. And we are not even sure the company was already operating there in 2008.

So the claim made in this image is definitely false:


About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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