Facebook Close-Down Hoax: Some Lessons Learned

facebook close down hoax
Facebook close down hoax
Newsflash: Facebook is not closing down on March 15, 2011; It is a hoax allegedly spread by Weekly World News that has been buzzed around the web and has made over a million people fallen for the news.

The news site reported that Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has told that managing Facebook has ruined his life and he feels the need to end “all the madness.” Amazingly, Weekly World News also cited another Facebook official, Avrat Humarthi, telling Facebook users to start taking off their pictures from Facebook because after March 15, the whole site will shut down.

Facebook, with over 200 million of active users, is huge – such buzz will not only impact Facebook, but also its users. Facebook was trying to debunked the hoax via its Twitter account status, but it’s not that effective. The Internet is powerful in buzzing hot news – hoax or not – and there almost nothing you can do about it, except writing an article on the hoax like the article you are reading right now.

Come on – let’s get real here; let’s be logical: How would a $50 billion company shut down just like that? Even if Mark did intent to stay away from Facebook, he obviously would want to sell Facebook, instead of closing it down. $50 billion – even if he sold it at 10 percent of the market value – is a nice amount of money to retire young and rich.

Unfortunately, buzz is just a buzz. When a buzz gets viral, there is nothing you can do. There is even a Facebook group dedicated to stop Facebook from closing down. Indeed, this hoax has impacted the whole Facebook economy badly – hopefully things will recover quickly.

Many use Facebook not only for personal purposes, but also for business purposes. Many businesses use Facebook to build brand and they work hard for it. People sell stuffs and make a living off Facebook. People promote their brand names via Facebook. A threat for all the hard work to be ended abruptly is really devastating.

Is Weekly World News the one to blame? Unfortunately, the answer is no. The fact is, users should seek the truth about the news first before spreading the word out. But this is exactly something that Weekly World News is after eventually – buzz and traffic. Of course, I believe they don’t want to do any harm, but as we all know, negative rumours are always damaging in one way or another.

Thinking the glass half full, there are some important business lessons we can learn from the whole shut-down hoax:

  • Piggy-backing a certain business will link your fate to it – Doing business entirely on eBay, making money online relying on Google, building brands by focusing your effort on Facebook and Twitter, etc. What happen if Facebook and the likes are really closing down? Are you willing to go out of business, too?
  • Never make any decisions based on rumours; seek the facts and ye shall see the truth. The best way to go: Contact the business directly for clarifying things.
  • The Internet and social media are strong medium for business marketing. Your ability to inspire users can turn you into a rockstar overnight – just ask the infamous Justin Bieber whose fame was started from YouTube.

Let’s slam the hoax and stop the madness!

Ivan Widjaya
Facebook is closing down – yeah, right…