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Posted at 9:24 AM ET, 01/10/2011

Don't Panic: Facebook is not shutting down

By Hayley Tsukayama

Facebook is not shutting down on March 15 or any other date in the foreseeable future.

But a story from the supermarket tabloid, the Weekly World News, generated a lot of buzz over the weekend when it reported that the social network was shuttering its doors and shutting out users starting on the Ides of March. The Weekly World News, famous for its reports on Bat Boy, alien attacks and how-tos like "10 Ways to Protect Your Home From Zombies" had this "quote" from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

"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."

Facebook definitively quashed the rumor -- where else? -- on its Facebook page.

A wall post on the company's official profile said, "We didn't get the memo about shutting down, so we'll keep working away like always. We aren't going anywhere; we're just getting started."

The fake story caused a bit of panic across the Internet over the weekend, and spawned Facebook petitions and emphatic caps-lock tweets pleading for the site to stay where it is.

Internet security firm Sophos took it upon itself to dispel the hoax in no uncertain terms and a generous helping of good humor:

By Hayley Tsukayama  | January 10, 2011; 9:24 AM ET
Categories:  Digital culture, Social media  
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Next: WSJ: Verizon will offer unlimited data plans for iPhone


Too bad.

Posted by: chaos1 | January 10, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

It's amazing that people actually believe these rumors.

Posted by: getjiggly2 | January 10, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Facebook Is Not Shutting Down On March 15 Just An Internet Rumor..........

Posted by: cmadnan8 | January 10, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

It will never cease to amaze me how that, as soon as they log onto the internet, normally smart people lose all sense of judgment and rational thought.

Posted by: PeterFellenz | January 10, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Facebook Is Not Shutting Down On March 15 It was Just An Internet Rumor..........

Posted by: cmadnan8 | January 10, 2011 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Why are people quoting The Weekly World News???????????


Posted by: bs2004 | January 10, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't everyone know that Batboy from Weekly World News is going to fly into Facebook headquarters on the Ides of March and fly away with all their servers? The Martians will be patiently waiting outside with Hillary and Bill Clinton, who will fly the servers away in their spaceships.

Posted by: sandradbeachbum | January 10, 2011 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Please post this as your status for the next half hour if you're stupid enough to believe that facebook is shutting down.

I did hear they were going to start charging though. That's true, right?

Posted by: NotForYou1 | January 10, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Mark get candid in this interview.

Posted by: ucentric | January 10, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

NotForYou1: You are just being facetious about the charging comment, right?

The thought that Facebook will charge for services always seems to raise it's head every three or four months. I would think that that will now disappear since the soon-to-be infusion of $50B through Goldman Sachs.

Posted by: AlfromAlexandria | January 10, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Successful troll is successful.

Posted by: Dawny_Chambers | January 10, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm very disappointed the rumor is false. I view Facebook and all the other networking sites as evil. (Yeah, right, it's the people who are evil, but why do they need one more venue?) They're another medium for people to lie, scam, cheat, and entrap.

Posted by: graylandgal | January 10, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

I just started using FB. It has some uses, but it is really after our data. I have my security restricted to friends only. It would not bother me if it went away. I predict something else will supplant it, much like Yahoo was once top dog, and gave way to Google. Never did get to MySpace. Such a bit of fluff as FB valued at 50 Billion? How stupid. I smell another dot.bomb bubble around the corner.

Posted by: WesD1 | January 10, 2011 6:57 PM | Report abuse

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