ANGORA- Employees at the South Switch Bar & Grill are scrambling to contain a possible hack of their Facebook page on Thursday involving an inflammatory political post falsely claiming to be theirs.
“We don’t put any kind of personal or political or religious posts on our site,” said Curtis Dehn, a South Switch employee who manages the restaurant’s Facebook page.
What appears to be a cell phone screen capture of a post allegedly made by the restaurant is an apparent tirade against the face mask mandate imposed last week by Gov. Tim Walz.
“If you feel you need to wear a mask for your health please do not come to our restaurant,” the post states. “We will not serve alcohol to any person that hides their identity. Our constitution is the very protection from ‘internet Karens.’ If you are sick, ill, democrat/liberal … stay home! We cannot meet your Socialist demands.”
The post includes additional derogatory statements, including some about “poor mannered children.”
Dehn was flabbergasted that such a post appeared on their site.
“That’s not what we’re about,” he said emphatically. “Race, religion, color, creed, everybody is welcome here. That is not a representation of us or our business.”
Dehn noted that the restaurant has been doing everything required to be in compliance with the state’s requirements for restaurants and bars related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bogus screen shot was posted from an account with the name “Kristian Salava (Mr. Happy)” and encouraged people to contact the Department of Public Safety and Department of Health, “the holder of their liquor license.”
It is unknown who used the account to make the posts.
Dehn said he received several messages alerting him to the problem.
“The messages I’ve gotten are from people who took screen shots and said ‘Hey, we think you’ve been hacked, you’d better get online,’” he said.
Dehn discovered the original post and deleted it and attempted to block people from posting to the page. He also posted a notice and apology to customers about the hack at 3:14 p.m.
However, the comment and screen shot weren’t on only one post.
A review of the South Switch news feed by The Timberjay revealed that the screen shot was appended to every legitimate South Switch post dating back to June 6, 2019, further reinforcing that the post was not made by anyone associated with the South Switch. The paper alerted Dehn to the discovery and he said he would work on deleting the additional posts tonight.