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Hoax targets Facebook users

Is Facebook really shutting down on March 15?

For the US $50-billion company, it’s highly unlikely.
A hoax claiming that Facebook chief executive officer and president Mark Zuckerberg planning to shut down the social networking site has gone viral, with ABS-CBN News’ Twitter account getting peppered with questions regarding the rumor’s veracity.
The hoax, perpetrated by the website of American supermarket tabloid Weekly World News, claims that Zuckerberg held a press conference outside his Palo Alto office to announce Facebook’s closure.
“Facebook has gotten out of control and the stress of managing this company has ruined my life. I need to put an end to all the madness,” Time magazine’s person of the year awardee allegedly said.
WWN, which runs stories often based on aliens, paranormal phenomena, the supernatural, and weird creatures, also claimed that Facebook users need to remove their photos from the site.
WWN ran the Facebook story on its website alongside an article claiming that alien spaceships will attack the Earth in 2011.
The tabloid’s list of unverified stories include:
  • An enormous dustcloud in outer space that is allegedly on its way to destroy the Earth in 2014;
  • A fossilized tornado found underground;
  • Bigfoot stealing a race car;
  • A cruel surgeon who re-attached a pair of conjoined twins after they failed to pay their medical bill for the initial surgical separation he performed;
  • A cannibal food critic.
On October 25 last year, anchors at the Fox News national morning news show “Fox and Friends” in the United States fell for a WWN satirical story claiming that the Los Angeles Angeles Police Department planned to buy 10,000 jetpacks for police officers at a cost of around US $1 billion.
“Fox and Friends” hosts later retracted the story after realizing the hoax, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Zuckerberg has yet to comment on the WWN hoax.
Facebook earned about US $500 million last year on sales of nearly US $2 billion, according to a memo distributed to potential investors in Facebook shares sold by Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs.
The social networking site is expected to launch an initial public offering in the US stock market next year. – With a report from Reuters
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