Activist Group Yes Men Confirm NYPD Stop and Frisk Happy Meal Hoax

But plenty of media took the bait, and now the NYPD's shady policing practices are up for more debate.

By Jamilah King Mar 06, 2012

Terry Malloy of the activist network the Yes Men just confirmed that the "Three Strikes, You’re In" website is a hoax. The website raised eyebrows this morning by declaring that the NYPD had teamed up with McDonald’s to offer free happy meals to disaffected residents who had been targeted by the city’s controversial stop-and-frisk program. The website has been taken down.

Here’s what Malloy told Tuesday afternoon:

Three Strikes, You’re In is a press relations stunt. But Stop and Frisk is a bigger press relations stunt. People in New York talk about ideas like broken windows policing, but what we want them to do is to consider what it does to a younger person’s mind to know that they’re targeted any time they leave their homes. How does that impact our society? 

This is a project with the Yes Lab, run by the Yes Men. They’re teaching activists how to do what’s called ‘culture jamming’, where the idea is to create some kind of stunt, or hoax, if you will, that will attract enough attention that the media will want to go more into the story. The ploy, it seems, worked in piquing the media’s interest in the story. Malloy said he’s gotten calls "from ABC News, Bloomberg News and Business Insider Magazine" and that the ACLU has also been in touch.