Thursday, September 21, 2023

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No, KitchenAid Isn’t Pulling Products From Target Despite Viral Claims

Have you seen claims that KitchenAid is pulling its products from Target stores? It’s been going viral on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook over the past few days. But it’s simply not true.

The claim appears to have originated at a website that produces “parody” news called the Dunning Kruger Times. The fake news site appears to be named after the Dunning Kruger Effect, a concept in psychology that states those with exceptionally low intelligence are the most likely to be overconfident in their own superior intelligence or abilities.

The fake article reads: “In another serious blow to the Target Corporation, KitchenAid Appliances has decided to pull its stock from the shelves and discontinue doing business there.”

The article also quotes a fake CEO of KitchenAid, who says, “We can’t be associated with the negative publicity surrounding the things they support.”

And while the “satirical” article doesn’t explicitly refer to the recent controversy over Target’s LGBT Pride displays, that seems to be what readers are supposed to understand as the reason for KitchenAid’s completely fictional departure.

The Dunning Kruger Times includes an About section on its website that reads, “ is a subsidiary of the ‘America’s Last Line of Defense’ network of parody, satire, and tomfoolery, or as Snopes called it before they lost their war on satire: Junk News.”

Other websites that churn out news of questionable veracity also latched on to the fake story about KitchenAid, including something called Breaking Newspapers, which seems to specialized in viral outrage. Top stories from Breaking Newspapers include supposed anger about Garth Brooks supporting the LGBT community and incendiary comments about the FBI and the indictment of former President Donald Trump.

But that didn’t stop many people on social media from believing the KitchenAid story was real and that the company had really pulled its products from Target.

“Bye bye @target you richly deserve it. @KitchenAidUSA dies [sic] the right thing,” right-wing influencer Jordan Peterson tweeted on Friday.

As the Associated Press has pointed out, KitchenAid actually participated in a partnership with Dylan Mulvaney back in February—the trans influencer who some right-wing media personalities targeted after Bud Light did a similar promotion. But the beer company received the bulk of the bigoted hatred over their association with Mulvaney, while other companies seemed to be spared.

I’ve reached out to both KitchenAid and Target but didn’t immediately receive a response. I’ll update this article if I hear back.

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