Facebook “Closing Down” Hoax Exposes the Darker Side of Social Media

I was as astonished as I’m sure most people were when I got an email telling me that Facebook was closing down, saying that I should sign a Facebook...

Facebook hoax

I was as astonished as I’m sure most people were when I got an email telling me that Facebook was closing down, saying that I should sign a Facebook Petition to keep it open (a strategy which immediately seemed somewhat flawed). How could the world’s most successful social network just decide to close? What would it’s 500 million users do with their lives when it’s gone? How the hell must Goldman Sachs be feeling, given that they invested $450 million into the company only a week or so ago? Boy must they be irked!

Thankfully, I wasn’t tested to answer these questions. The rumour was a cruel hoax, probably launched by a US gossip magazine. The world quickly returned to it’s rightful place and the 4000 people who Liked the Petition to Stop Facebook from closing down must now be wishing they hadn’t been so hasty.

But something like this starts you thinking. My immediate concern – for the few stupid seconds in which I half believed the story – was that some of the highly addicted, Friend-craving, photo-sharing Facebook addicts out there might seek to end their lives rather than see their friend-lists deleted. Recent stories of South Koreans dying or neglecting their families while playing virtual, multi-player games shows how dangerous any addiction can be.

I’m pretty sure there are people out there who think they couldn’t live without Facebook. We just haven’t tested their resolve yet. Thankfully, so far as we know, nobody took this hoax seriously enough to make the headlines – but they might have. Petition against social networking hoaxes, anyone?

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1 comment

  1. Anonymous Reply

    Certainly a disturbing story about the South Korean man. I think most of us know what he must have felt like, not wanting to quit his engagement with his online addiction to do anything else, we just don’t actually feel it strongly enough to behave like that. Everyone needs to guard against addiction of any sort, as the number of addictive substances in the world seems to be on an exponential rise in our times. @andrewbschultz

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