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Issue 121 - December 2011 - Page 23

Hoax - Facebook Shutting Down on March 15

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Outline
Widespread rumour claims that Facebook will close down for good on March 15, 2012.



Brief Analysis
The claims are untrue. Facebook will certainly not shut down in March 2012. The false rumours are derived from a fictional "news" story published on the "Weekly World News" website, a publication known for churning out utterly fanciful tales disguised as news items.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.

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Last updated:9th November 2011
First published: 10th January 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: Facebook closing down

FACEBOOK WILL END ON MARCH 15th! | Weekly World News

ALO ALTO, CA – Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will be shut down in March. 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, users will no longer be able to access their Facebook accounts.

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Detailed Analysis
This rumour, which is rocketing around cyberspace causing fear and consternation among Facebook fans, claims that Facebook will shut down entirely on March 15, 2012. According to the rumours, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has decided to shut down the site because managing it is too stressful and because the site has "gotten out of control".

However, the rumours have no basis in fact. Zuckerberg has certainly not announced any plans to shut down Facebook. The rumours are derived from a fictional story published on the website"Weekly World News" on January 8th, 2011.

Weekly World News is the online version of a notorious tabloid newspaper of the same name long renowned for publishing utterly fanciful stories disguised as news article. Virtually nothing published on the website is accurate. The "Facebook shutting down" story is apparently intended to be satirical. The site regularly features fake news articles about alien encounters along with fictional gossip stories targeting various celebrities.

The original version of the hoax listed a supposed closure date of March 15, 2011. But with that date well and truly in the past, the hoax has been "updated" and now proclaims that the shut down will take place on March 15, 2012. But, of course, the 2012 version is as equally nonsensical as its predecessor.

Thus, Facebookers can breathe a sigh of relief! Their much beloved network is NOT going to be shut down anytime soon.

Incidentally, this is not the only hoax that has claimed that Facebook users may soon lose their accounts. Another widespread message falsely claims that Facebook is becoming overpopulated and is therefore deleting the accounts of users who do not repost the message.

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References
FACEBOOK WILL END ON MARCH 15th!
Google Books - Weekly World News
Facebook Deleting Inactive Users Hoax



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Issue 121 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Bogus Warning - Scammers Asking for Baby Details to Claim Benefits in Your Children's Names
  2. False Claim - Cardiff City Football Club Refused to Donate Club Shirt for Fallen Soldier's Coffin
  3. Summer Chain Email - Blond Hair And Blood Shot Eyes
  4. Facebook Account Reported Phishing Scam
  5. Christmas Tree App Virus Hoax
  6. Sears Supports Reservist Employees Email Forward
  7. False Claim - Colour Photographs of Hitler Taken by American Life Photographer
  8. Budweiser Frogs Virus Hoax
  9. Phone Text Message Lottery Scams
  10. Skype TopUp Payment PayPal Phishing Scam
  11. Hoax - Mark Zuckerberg Blames Facebook Porn Attack on the Philippines
  12. 'DGTFX Virus' Email Account Phishing Scam
  13. Recent Facebook Porn Attack Highlights Dangers of Misleading 'Security' Warnings
  14. False - Send Christmas Cards for Recovering Soldiers to Queen Elizabeth Hospital
  15. Christmas Cards for Recovering American Soldiers
  16. Starbucks Coffee Free Gift Card Survey Scam
  17. Facebook 'Virus' Warning - 'Nobody can watch this for more than 15 seconds' Video
  18. Advance Fee Scam - British National Lottery Promo Programme
  19. Live Ants In The Brain Hoax
  20. Hoax - Albany Bread Poisoned by Staff
  21. PayPal 'Verify to Resolve Account Limitations' Phishing Scam
  22. Red Bull Car Adverts Money Laundering Scam
  23. Hoax - Facebook Shutting Down on March 15
  24. False Warning - Red Dot Inside a Red Square On Chocolate Bars Indicates That Product Contains A Pork Derivative
  25. IT Service Desk 'Scheduled Maintenance & Upgrade' Phishing Scam
  26. Abandoned Two Week Old Sydney Baby Prayer Request
  27. Protest Message - Prison Sentence for Spray Painting Poppy on Mosque
  28. Protest Message - Dog Named 'Parrot' Shot by Police
  29. Inaccurate Protest Message - Poundland and Bodyshop Banning Staff From Wearing Poppies
  30. Apple Store Account Phishing Scam