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Rude rumors return: Facebook is not closing for maintenance in February

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Facebook has not scheduled off-line repairs at the end of February, despite the perennial waves of rumors that sweep all over the site.

For at least the third year in a row, Facebook users are passing around a rude rumor, which reads something like this:

Warning! Facebook will be closed for maintenance from February 29th to 31st. Facebook wants you to share this message with at least 15 of your friends for the best chance of alerting everyone. Many people will try to log in from February 29 to 31, just to find the site closed down for those days with no warning.

Here’s the kicker.

Does anyone remember how many days February has? That’s right. February contains just 28 days, unless it’s Leap Year. And it’s not.

“This isn’t even a Leap Year,” a savvy soul posted February 10 on Australian myth-debunker Hoax-Slayer’s Facebook page.

“The notice actually says Facebook won't be accessible 29, 30, 31 February - so it's true,” another Hoax-Slayer commenter pointed out. “Nobody will be able to access it on those dates.”

The Facebook maintenance shutdown rumor doesn’t receive closure, year after year.

In a 2011 post, updated February 2013, urban legend buster Snopes called the alleged Facebook alert a “silly rumor.”

Hoax-Slayer tagged the social media scare, which has appeared in both English and French, as a “silly prank.” In French, that would be “blague idiote.” No kidding!

“This prank exemplifies how the immediacy and ease of use of social media can apparently cause many users to share or repost without due forethought or the application of even basic common sense,” Hoax-Slayer commented.

The February Facebook closure joke joins a long string of social networking rumors, such as the annual April Fool’s Day internet shutdown untruth, as well as the ever-appearing claims of future fees for Facebook access.

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