You've probably seen this image detailing a new Flint ordinance (a ban on sagging pants) pop up in your news feed at some point recently. I've been seeing this image shared with quite a bit of enthusiasm lately, but people are forgetting to ask the most important question.

This post is a few months old, but it has shown up in my news feed multiple times this past week. Before we get into the nuts and bolts of this thing, let's take a look at what the street sign in the now-viral image (over 46k shares) says:

Now, before we get any further -- I want to let you know that this sign is total bulls***. I'm not saying it's bulls*** because I disagree with the policy, I'm saying it because it's fake. Here are a few reasons that I immediately knew this was a hoax:

  1. There is no "City Ordinance #82456" on Flint's Charter.
  2. They spelled "Offense" wrong.
  3. Other cities have outed this same image (with different text) as a poorly crafted hoax.
  4. The letters at the bottom are both pixelated, and crooked.

Seriously, that text is so obviously fake that I can't believe anyone mistook this for a real thing. What bothers me the most is that I've spent hours crafting beautiful (and much funnier) Photoshop jokes that didn't get 5% of the eyes on them that this piece of Microsoft Paint-produced garbage did. As a content creator, I'm offended by the sloppiness. As a lazy perfectionist (it's a thing), I'm offended by how easy it was to improve. Check out what I did in less than a minute.


And then, to prove why you should never get your news from regular people on Facebook, I made a different sign.



See how easy it is to fake these things?

While none of these signs are real, you may remember a story like this from a few years back, 2008 to be exact. The interim Flint Police Chief at the time, David Dicks, made national headlines when he announced that officers would begin arresting people who sagged their pants. The offense actually carried a much stiffer penalty than the fake sign threatened, with up to a $500 fine and 93 days in jail.

That story died after a couple of months, and not much was written about it after. Whether it was an actual law or just a temporary police chief's divisive initiative is unclear, but our contact with the Flint Police said they haven't heard of that policy being enforced in quite some time.

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