This morning there were rumors across the web triggered by a trending topic on Google Trends of “Facebook shutting down.”

Facebook Shutting Down Rumor

Facebook Shutting Down Rumor

Why was this rumor started? And why isn’t it being denied by Facebook? The rumor is actually being inflated by FB:

“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.”

So why, why, why, would Facebook do this? ( a) they aren’t publicly traded, and you can do stuff like this as such.

Because Facebook can read your private conversations, and it knows what everyone has been saying: “Is Facebook an evil empire… And is Zuckerberg out to take over the world as Time Magazine‘s Person of the Year?”

If I tell you I’m going to take away your cell phone… You’re going to appreciate that cell phone a little more… Especially if you think it’s really going away…

So, what is this whole rumor about?

It’s all about good ol’ reverse psychology and building value. With 1/2 a billion bucks from Goldman Sachs and Facebook Credits taking off in Australia, Facebook isn’t going anywhere… They just would like some “recognition”… you remember the Social Network, don’t you?

At least Zuckerberg understands the most important thing about the war room and winning this investment banking-venture capital tug-of-war: be unpredictable.

What do you think about this whole thing?