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That Viral Tweet About Stealing All of Burger King's Nuggets Was a Hoax

Earlier in the week, before Correa came forward and exposed the hoax for what it is, the Internet was hailing him as the “Chicken King”—sort of a Robin Hood amongst American fast-food workers.
Photo via Flickr user spacebarpark

John Correa—who goes by the Twitter name "ZEALOT!"—is an 18-year-old high-school senior from Miami. Earlier this week, he posted a picture to his Twitter account of several bags of frozen Burger King chicken nuggets buckled into the passenger seat of his car. As Mashable reported, he tweeted: "Today was my last day working at Burger King so I took all their nuggets, fuck it."

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 12.25.44 PM

Before Correa took down the post due to the ensuing flood of media attention, it had received nearly 41,000 likes and more than 35,000 retweets. Was Correa a chicken-nugget bandit? Or was the whole thing a joke? Or, what about this: Was the tweet really an existential lesson in the slippery nature of facts as presented on social media and as propagated by national news sources?


people are so annoying

— ZEALOT! (@johnalexcorrea) January 27, 2016

Whatever it was, the tweet went viral and now Correa is saying we should all learn a lesson from this. A lesson, that is, about how gullible we are. He says he sincerely wants you to know that he never stole any chicken nuggets and you shouldn't believe everything you read. And that, he claims, was the purpose of his posting all along. Earlier in the week, before Correa came forward and exposed the hoax for what it is, the Internet was hailing him as the "Chicken King"—sort of a Robin Hood amongst American fast-food workers.

I just did a national interview… over chicken nuggets — ZEALOT! (@johnalexcorrea) January 27, 2016

But Correa wants you to know that he was just transporting some nuggets from one Burger King to another, as part of his job. (And isn't he a conscientious worker to buckle the little guys safely into the front seat of his car?) He confessed to his bosses that he had pulled the stunt and told the local ABC news affiliate in South Florida that they all had a good laugh about.

International Celebrity — ZEALOT! (@johnalexcorrea) January 28, 2016

Correa certainly feels there is a lesson here, one that he is only too happy to teach us all. Correa told BuzzFeed News that he "tweeted out the story to see how many people would believe it without any question." Oh. Thanks, dude. Now we know. Correa eventually confessed that he was trying to make a point: people will instantly buy "into what media says" and fall for "whatever is glorified."


Imagine that—and we thought it was all just a silly joke. Albeit, a pretty glorious one.

Instead, Correa insists, we should learn our lesson: "You see something on media, you automatically believe it was true. And you automatically follow whatever it says."

Autographed by the nugget bandit himself, @johnalexcorrea ! Retweet for a chance to win! — BraddockTV (@braddocktv) January 28, 2016

So, denizens of the Internet, the next time you want to dub someone the Chicken King, you'd better be sure he is worthy of said designation. He may instead be a Philosopher King, desirous of teaching the masses a lesson in how they get their information and what they should or shouldn't believe.

Thanks, ZEALOT!. You may be our king, after all.