ADVERTISEMENT
Related topics

Photo of $7.11 gas at 7-Eleven shows sign test from 2020

June 22, 2022 GMT

CLAIM: A photo shows a 7-Eleven gas station selling fuel for $7.11.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: Missing context. The photo, taken at a Chicago 7-Eleven location, is more than a year old and shows placeholder numbers being used to test the sign before the location was open to the public, according to both the person who took the image and representatives for 7-Eleven. While gas prices in some parts of the country have exceeded $7 in recent weeks, this particular gas station was not charging that amount when the photo was captured, and is currently charging around $6.

THE FACTS: As prices continue to rise at the pump, an image purporting to show a 7-Eleven selling fuel for the same price as its name is being shared widely among social media users commenting on what appears to be an entertaining coincidence.

“The prophecy has been fulfilled,” one Twitter user joked while sharing the image, gaining more than 80,000 retweets and 740,000 likes.

However, the price is not a coincidence but a cheeky reference sometimes used by stores as a placeholder while testing digital signs, representatives for 7-Eleven said in a statement provided to The Associated Press. The picture wasn’t captured recently, either.

The photo was first posted on Reddit in March 2021 by Chicago resident Matt Beemsterboer, a record of the thread shows. The post was marked by the thread’s moderator as “original content,” meaning it hadn’t been reposted or reshared on the platform.

Reached on Twitter by the AP, Beemsterboer said he captured the photo in late 2020 in Chicago, and uploaded it to Reddit a few months later. He confirmed his photo is the one now being widely shared online.

“The 7/11 was not yet open when I snapped the pic,” Beemsterboer said. “The prices were just test prices at the time I took it.”

A separate Twitter user on Monday responded to a popular post of the photo, sharing a different image of the gas station on Chicago’s North Side that was taken from a similar angle. The user said they, too, took their image in late 2020 before the store was open. In that photo, elements in the background, including a light pole and a hardware store, match those at the same gas station where Beemsterboer said he took his picture. The features can also be seen in a search of the area on Google maps.

Representatives for 7-Eleven also confirmed the explanation, saying in a statement that the image was “more than a year old” and that gas was not sold for that amount. Instead the numbers were added to the sign as a nod to the store’s name while testing the equipment ahead of opening the location.

“In the past, it was common for building contractors to test the fuel price signs at newly built, but not yet open, 7-Eleven locations to $7.11 in honor of the store’s name,” according to 7-Eleven’s statement. “We have since requested that building contractors stop this practice and hope this recently re-circulated photo does not cause any confusion for 7-Eleven customers.”

The current price of gas at that location is just over $6, according to Gasbuddy.com, which tracks gas prices nationally.

As of mid-June, gas prices hit a record $5 a gallon on average across the U.S., the AP has reported.

___

This is part of AP’s effort to address widely shared misinformation, including work with outside companies and organizations to add factual context to misleading content that is circulating online. Learn more about fact-checking at AP.