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

by Brett M. Christensen

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.

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.”

Read full article

 

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.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer