Hoax: FACEBOOK WILL END ON MARCH 15th, 2012! (UPDATE)

Summary:Scammers are pushing a hoax on Facebook, warning users that the service will be shutting down on March 15, 2012. The story is actually an old one gaining steam again, and it's still fake.

Facebook users are inadvertently spreading a hoax on the social network, telling each other that the social network is going to shut down on March 15, 2012. Just like the last one that said the company will start charging for its service, this is not true: Facebook earlier this month filed for a $5 billion initial public offering (IPO) and is planning to be around for a very long time. Let me reiterate once again: Facebook is not shutting down on March 15, 2012, or any other date for that matter.

The claim comes in slightly different versions:

weeklyworldnews.com PALO ALTO – Facebook continues to deny rumors it is shutting down on March 15th of 2012. WWN, however, has confirmed that it is true. FACEBOOK WILL END ON MARCH 15th, 2012! (UPDATE) | Weekly World News

This one just moves the claim to the front:

FACEBOOK WILL END ON MARCH 15th, 2012! weeklyworldnews.com PALO ALTO – Facebook continues to deny rumors it is shutting down on March 15th of 2012. WWN, however, has confirmed that it is true. FACEBOOK WILL END ON MARCH 15th, 2012! (UPDATE) | Weekly World News

Here's the introduction from the supposed source:

Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will be shut down in March of 2012. Managing the site has become too stressful.

"Facebook has gotten out of control," said Zuckerberg in a press conference outside his Palo Alto office, "and the stress of managing this company has ruined my life. I need to put an end to all the madness."

Zuckerberg went on to explain that starting March 15th of next year, users will no longer be able to access their Facebook accounts. That gives users (and Facebook addicts) a year to adjust to life without Facebook.

This hoax is spreading like wildfire on Facebook, despite there being any official information. You should notice the message does not include a link to an official Facebook blog announcing such a plan. The original hoax was published on WWN last year, but the site has simply updated its nonsense, added a petition, and changed the dates of the fake articles to make it seem like they're still news (1, 2). Furthermore, they have also been republished all over the Internet, including on Facebook, and the hype seems to be increasing as we get closer to the false shut down date.

As a general word of caution, don't believe everything you read on the Internet. Also, don't blindly copy and paste warnings just because your Facebook friend's status tells you to do so. Although you probably mean well, you could be helping a hoax become more popular on the social network.

See also:

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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