Categories: MarketingSocialMedia

Google Says Gmail ‘Here To Stay’ After Hoax Goes Viral

Google has been forced to state that Gmail is “here to stay” after a hoax email was viewed millions of times on social media, giving the impression that the firm was shutting down its popular email service.

The realistic-looking email, posted on X – formerly Twitter – had the headline “Google is sunsetting Gmail” and said Gmail was “coming to a close” as of 1 August.

From that date the service would no longer support “sending, receiving or storing emails”, the hoax message said.

“We are reaching out to share an important update about Gmail,” reads the fake message.

Image credit: Unsplash

‘Here to stay’

“After years of connecting millions worldwide, enabling seamless communication, and fostering countless connections, the journey of Gmail is coming to a close.”

“Up until August 1, 2024, you will be able to access and download all of your emails.”

The post was viewed more than 7 million times.

Google responded with a post on X stating, “Gmail is here to stay.”

The post appeared to be based on a real message from Google in 2023 that related to discontinuing its most basic HTML view.

Misinformation

X has been criticised by authorities for lax controls on misinformation, with the EU launching a probe into the company over the matter in December.

In late 2022 the firm was acquired by entrepreneur Elon Musk, who has said he wants to protect free speech.

Google has a history of shutting down services used by large numbers of people, such as  its Stadia gaming service and the Snapchat-like YouTube Stories, both in 2023, which may have lent credibility to the false post about Gmail.

The company made changes to Gmail in October aimed at combating junk email messages.

In 2023 the firm began closing old and inactive Gmail accounts and has announced plans to close Google Podcasts, which has effectively been succeeded by YouTube Music.

Google Pay US shutdown

Last Thursday, in its latest major closure, Google said it would discontinue the Google Pay stand-alone app for US users, although “nothing will change” in India, Singapore and other markets.

The firm said Google Pay’s most popular features, such as checking out online and tapping to pay in stores, would remain available in Google Wallet, “which is used five times more than the Google Pay app in the US”.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

Recent Posts

China Tells Telecom Carriers To Phase Out Foreign Chips – Report

Tit-for-tat. Another blow for Intel and AMD in China, after Beijing orders telecom carriers to…

1 day ago

Sam Bankman-Fried Appeals FTX Fraud Sentence Of 25 Years

Disgraced crypto billionaire and former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried appeals 25 prison sentence for masterminding…

1 day ago

UK Regulator Flags Competition Risks Of AI Foundation Models

British competition regulator has “real concerns” regarding AI foundation models controlled by small number of…

1 day ago

Micron Notes DRAM Supply Hit After Taiwan Earthquake

Concerns realised. Memory maker Micron admits hit to DRAM supply following Taiwan's biggest earthquake in…

2 days ago

US Senator Hints At TikTok Divestiture Deadline Extension

China's ByteDance may be given up to a year to divest itself of TikTok, used…

2 days ago