Is Facebook shutting down March 15th? Unlikely.

A generation of web users likely too young to remember the ludicrousness of Weekly World News headlines at supermarket checkouts has fallen hook, line and sinker for a web rumor stating that Facebook will be shutting down on March 15th for good- taking with it all your photos, notes, FarmVille credits and access to ex-lovers. Oh noes!

According to the tabloid, the massive and multi-zillion dollar website, one of the largest worldwide, will go dark forever in two months because Mark Zuckerberg is le tired. While no site is guaranteed to last forever and I have no inside information on this particular rumor, the idea that Zuckerberg losing interest would shutter the site is, to be charitable, naive. For instance, the site employees well over a thousand people- one man’s level of energy in maintaining it is fairly negligable. (That’s excepting all the people who have interests in the site not related to CityVille and spying on their girlfriends or boyfriends.)

Per the obviously facetious article, Zuckerberg hosted a press conference announcing the closure of the world’s largest social networking site ever, and no one but Weekly World News was there. Remember, mainstream media sites covered the recent child abuse prevention status trend, but somehow this wasn’t newsworthy?

“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.”

It continues:

Zuckerberg said that the decision to shut down Facebook was difficult, but that he does not think people will be upset.

“I personally don’t think it’s a big deal,” he said in a private phone interview. “And to be honest, I think it’s for the better. Without Facebook, people will have to go outside and make real friends. That’s always a good thing.”

Another quote from the piece, from someone who seems to exist only for the purposes of the article, warns users to start saving their data ahead of the big sign-off:

“After March 15th the whole website shuts down,” said Avrat Humarthi, Vice President of Technical Affairs at Facebook. “So if you ever want to see your pictures again, I recommend you take them off the internet. You won’t be able to get them back once Facebook goes out of business.”

Still wary? The next line should clue you in to how ridiculous the entire premise of Facebook shutting down actually is:

“I don’t care about the money,” said Zuckerberg. “I just want my old life back.”

Because if Facebook shut down now, poor Mark Zuckerberg would be totally destitute in two years. While Facebook hasn’t officially commented on the rumor, it’s pretty safe to say there will be no Facebook shut down on March 15th.