Time was, Weekly World News reported on UFO sightings and all manner of human-animal hybrids. But the new supermarket tabloid hotness is a fake rumor about Facebook. Did you know Facebook is shutting down on March 15th?

Here's what the Weekly World News had to say about Facebook's impending doom:

PALO ALTO, CA –Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will be shut down in March. Managing the site has become too stressful.

"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."

Zuckerberg went on to explain that starting March 15th, users will no longer be able to access their Facebook accounts.

"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."

This being the Internet, people actually believe this. "Is facebook shutting down" was the 14th-hottest Google search yesterday. Here's a representative Facebook status update:

Alas, Facebook is not shutting down due to Mark Zuckerberg wanting to spend more time washing the one hoodie he owns. But the potency of this rumor suggests it tapped into the Internet's deep-seated Facebook death wish; a yearning for some distant past where all the hours wasted on Facebook were spent on something productive instead, like drinking.

Update: Facebook has responded to the rumor with a tweet:

[via Sophos]