Online meme-makers launched a fake Starbucks promotion that offered a 40 percent discount on any Starbucks beverage to undocumented immigrants this week. Starbucks confirmed that the ad is fake, according to the company's Twitter account.
The fake Starbucks holiday, which its creators dubbed "Dreamer Day," a reference to the DREAM Act, was a ploy created to dupe immigrants into going to Starbucks so the creators could call U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to the meme creators on an Internet forum, which Buzzfeed first reported.
The ad, which claimed all undocumented immigrants could receive a discount at any Starbucks location on Aug. 11, was created by a group of anonymous people on 4Chan, the anonymous online bulletin board that's responsible for some of the internet's biggest memes, hoaxes, and cyberbullying campaigns.
4Chan users hatched the plan last week. "How about we meme 'Undocumented Immigrant Day' at Starbucks into existence? Announce free coffee for all illegals on a certain date," an anonymous user proposed on Wednesday, August 2. "August 11? 11 looks like II (for Illegal Immigrant). I'm open to suggestions there. Name a liberal place for all illegals to go at once and demand free stuff. Thoughts?"
A few minutes later, another 4Chan user chimed in: "And then call ICE? I like it."
Just like that, operation "#borderfreecoffee day" begun. Users decided the campaign's motto would be "Dreamer Day" because "liberals love that term."
Online trolls have been targeting Starbucks for months. In January, in response to President Trump's "Muslim Ban," Starbucks drew anger after announcing it would hire 10,000 refugees.