Hoaxes & Rumors

Facebook is NOT Shutting Down November 15, 2014

Facebook is NOT Shutting Down November 15, 2014

A message circulating this week claims that Facebook will be removing inactive accounts on November 15, 2014 due to overpopulation.

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It’s a hoax.

This is not the first time this hoax has circulated…and it’s still not true.

Claims that Facebook is shutting down have appeared every few months for the past several years. We first saw it in March 2011 and again in March 2012. This was followed a few months later by another fake July 15, 2012 deadline. In November 2012 we saw a slight variation of the rumor – which looks remarkably similar to the current 2014 version – stating that Facebook was being shut down on March 15, 2013 due to “overpopulation.”

In the past two years we’ve seen a rise in variations of this claiming dates of March 2012, July 2012, March 2013, May 2013, July 2013, March 2014, and now November 2014.

The 2014 variant asks users to copy and share this status to somehow prove to Facebook that they are real, active users. The message reads:

Hi , this is a message from the creator of Facebook and it tells you a little bit about what is going to happen to Facebook on the 15th of November. Please don’t send this back to the person you received it from. Dear Facebook members, Facebook is supposed to be closing down November 15th because it is becoming very overpopulated. There have been many members complaining that Facebook is becoming very slow. Records show that there are many active Facebook members and also many new members. We will be sending this message around to see if members are active or not. If you are active please send to 15 other users using copy paste to show that you are still active. *Those who do not send this message within 2 weeks will be deleted without hesitation to make more space. Send this message to all of your friends to show that you are still active and you will not be deleted. Founder of Facebook..Remember to send this to 15 other people so your account wont be deleted.

Founder of Facebook.

Remember to send this to 15 other people so your account wont be deleted.

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Facebook would certainly not require users to share a status with 15 friends to determine how active their accounts are. A few other points to be made include:

  • Facebook unofficial. There has never been an announcement such as this by Facebook, or any other major website. The social media giant typically makes announcements via its newsroom.
  • Odd protocol. It is a stretch to think that Facebook would ask you to forward a message to 15 people chain-letter-style in order to keep your account active. Not everyone checks Facebook every 2 weeks, nor does every user have 15 friends.
  • Anonymous Zuckerberg. It’s hard to fathom an official email coming from “Founder of Facebook” without mentioning Mark Zuckerberg’s name. Further, Mark Zuckerberg has not made any recent policy announcements. Such announcements would be made by Monika Bickert, Facebook’s Head of Global Policy Management.

Bottom Line

There have been no credible reports or announcements regarding Facebook shutting down on November 15, or any other date for that matter. The claim that the social media site is “overpopulated” is simply a hoax that resurfaces several times a year. The demand that readers share the bogus message with 15 friends is a way for the perpetrators of this hoax to ensure that it receives maximum coverage. 

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