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Facebook users freaked out yesterday over a false online report that Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of the social networking site, would shut it down by March 15.

The Weekly World News, known for its humorous content, said that Zuckerberg was at a news conference in Palo Alto, Calif., and quoted him as saying that Facebook “has gotten out of control.”

A Facebook spokeswoman confirmed to amNewYork in an e-mail last night that the rumor wasn’t true.

Stories in the Weekly World News online archive include “Alien spaceships to attack Earth in 2011” and “Mike Tyson pigeon fetish.”

Despite the obvious ruse, it was the 14th most-searched phrase on Google Saturday, and dozens of pages railing against the alleged shutdown had been created on Facebook by last night. In addition, an online petition to stop the site’s demise had more than 3,625 signers.

Yet some savvy readers immediately brushed the news off as a hoax.

“Facebook is not shutting down, stop making up s---,” wrote one user on a Facebook page.

“Get a life,” wrote another.

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