Sunday, January 30, 2011

Just Another Internet Hoax Is Facebook Shutting Down

Facebook Ending on March 15” is the “news” that has spread quickly across the web—it is unclear whether the hoax began from rumours on Facebook or by a website called WeeklyWorldNews.

WeeklyWorldNews says “users will no longer be able to access their Facebook account” starting March 15, because “managing the site has become too stressful.” The article goes on to quote Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg saying, “I just want my old life back.”

The website, however, has made false claims in the past, including Michelle Obama being pregnant, and Michael Jackson being spotted on the moon after his death.

This online prank makes Facebook the latest victim in the line of recent Internet death hoaxes, such as Adam Sandler, Aretha Franklin and Owen Wilson.

And the 'news' arrives barely a week after a $500 million investment in Facebook by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and a Russian investor.

But it’s not the first time the social network has faced a hoax—similar rumors were spreading back in 2007.

“A hoax is an attempt to trick an audience into believing that something false is real. In Facebook several of these hoaxes are popping up all over the place,” says the description of a group called “Facebook Hoax” on Facebook.

The group suggests to save bandwidth and unnecessary false understandings and “use your common sense before you forward a message” to friends on Facebook, with a tip to “copy some of the text from the message into the Google search field and take a look at the search result that the search engine finds for you” as a starting point.

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