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Hoax - Facebook Shutting Down on May (or March) 15, 2013

Outline
Widespread rumours claim that Facebook will close down for good on either March or May 15, 2013.



Brief Analysis
The claims are untrue. Facebook will certainly not shut down in May ( or March as claimed in some versions) . 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: January 18, 2013
First published: 10th January 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Examples

Subject: FACEBOOK WILL END ON May 15TH, 2013!

FACEBOOK WILL END ON May 15TH, 2013!

ALO ALTO, CA – Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will be shut down in May. 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.”


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Subject: FACEBOOK WILL END ON JULY 15TH, 2012!

FACEBOOK WILL END ON JULY 15TH, 2012!

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 July 15th, users will no longer be able to access their Facebook accounts.


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.




Detailed Analysis
This rumour, which is rocketing around cyberspace causing fear and consternation among Facebook fans, claims that Facebook will shut down entirely on May 15, 2013. Some alternate versions specify March 15. 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 first 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 articles. 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 was "updated" and then proclaimed that the shut down would take place on March 15, 2012. After the March deadline had also passed, yet another version surfaced which claimed that the shutdown was to take place on July 15 2012. Yet another variant moved the closure date to January 15, 2013. And the latest variants move the closure date to either March or May 15, 2013. New versions, with new - and equally spurious - shutdown dates are likely to continue appearing in coming months.

Thus, Facebookers can breathe a sigh of relief! Their much beloved network is NOT going to be shut down any time 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 JANUARY 15TH, 2013!
Google Books - Weekly World News
Facebook Deleting Inactive Users Hoax


Last updated: January 18, 2013
First published: 10th January 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer