A headline on the bogus news site Weekly World News is causing panic among Facebook users who are spamming the social network with links to the story. The hoax claims that Facebook will end on March 15, 2012, because Mark Zuckerberg, the site’s founder, is allegedly too stressed.Of course, as in previous Facebook-related scams, the social network will not end, will not begin charging its customers, and Zuckerberg will not give away free iPads.
“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,” says the CEO, according to the article in question.
While this hoax is not exactly new, ever since WWW republished the article, the Internet started buzzing, with more than 20,000 users already reading the phony news.
“Hoaxes like this waste time, use up bandwidth, and simply underline that many people don't check their facts before sharing links and spreading news,” Sophos senior technology consultant Graham Cluley says.
This is not the first time a WWW headline causes panic among internauts. Not long ago we heard that Casey Anthony was allowed to adopt a Romanian baby and that Megan Fox is actually a man.
Stories such as these may be considered highly amusing by some and that’s their actual purpose. Users should not take them seriously and they should refrain from spamming others and cause mass confusion.
We recommend that you check out the sources of a story before sharing it with others as being true. We will also take this opportunity to remind everyone that successful hoaxes can be easily utilized by cybercriminals to spread survey scams and even dangerous pieces of malware designed to steal sensitive information from infected computers.