Hoax That Facebook Is Closing Goes Viral

A hoax that site is shutting down on March 15 has caused alarm across the web.

ByABC News
January 9, 2011, 11:44 AM

Jan. 9, 2011— -- Rumors that Facebook will be shutting down on March 15 have gone viral across the web, causing users to question what will happen to their photos and other content that they have shared on the world's largest social networking site.

The flurry of online chatter that the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company would shut down its servers comes just days after it had been valued at $50 billion after a $500 million infusion of cash by investment bank Goldman-Sachs.

The story seems to have been perpetuated by supermarket tabloid the Weekly World News, which Saturday published an article headlined "Facebook Will End March 15th!"

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

The Weekly World News, which is known for stories on alien abductions and the infamous "bat boy," also reported that Facebook indicated that users should remove all of their personal information and content from the site by March 15. According to the article, after that all photos, notes, links, and videos would be removed.

Looking at trends across the web, including Google Trends and on Twitter, it appears that many are falling prey to the rumor mill.

A "Top Tweet" -- popular Tweets that have caught the attention of other Twitter users -- from a user named DaddySteak today reads: "Woww...they are shutting down Facebook on March 15,2011."

Hundreds of other similar speculations and rumors can be found across the micro-blogging site, with many users linking to articles perpetuating the rumor.

Facebook has yet to officially respond to the article.