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'This Can't Be True': Google Responds to Viral Hoax Claiming the Company Is Shutting Down Gmail The fake news release started making its way around X on Thursday.

By Emily Rella

Key Takeaways

  • A fake news release claiming that Google was sunsetting Gmail went viral on X this week.
  • In the U.S., Gmail has a market share of 53%.
  • Google clarified that Gmail is "here to stay."

No, Google is not sunsetting Gmail, but if you're one of the users duped by the fake news, you're not alone.

A false news release made its way around social media on Thursday after being posted to X (formerly Twitter) and quickly went viral.

"After years of connecting millions worldwide, enabling seamless communication, and fostering countless connections, the journey of Gmail is coming to a close," the fake document reads, accompanied by the Google logo and standard Google document formatting. "The decision to sunset Gmail has been made with careful consideration of the evolving digital landscape and our commitment to providing high-quality, innovative solutions that meet the needs of our users."

Related: Google Is About to Delete Inactive Accounts. Here's How to Avoid A Massive Gmail Bounce Rate.

The post stated that Gmail is ending on August 1, 2024 and that as of that date, emails would no longer be able to be sent, received, or stored on the Gmail platform.

"After this date, Gmail accounts will become inaccessible," the post said.

Naturally, X users began to panic. In the U.S., Gmail has a market share of 53%, per Forbes, and more than 1.8 billion active users send and receive an estimated 333 billion emails daily.

The original fake post is believed to have come from Chris Bakke, a product lead for X, whose company Laskie was acquired by then-Twitter in 2021.

In a post on the platform, Bakke satirically joked that he was the SVP of Product at Google and that CEO Sundar Pichai had asked him to fire the "entire Google Gemini team" but that he had misheard it as the "entire Google Gmail team," and thus created a fake document as a part of his joke.

"Look at that quickly without your glasses when you're 7 margaritas deep at the fire pit on a Wednesday, and you'd make the same error. I mean, you get how that's confusing right," he joked on the platform. "Anyway, I'm rolling with the decision. Gmail's gone."

Bakke's original post has since garnered over 2.2 million views.

The trolling came just hours after Google announced that it was pausing the release of its Gemini AI tool after radical inaccuracies were found when using the text-to-image software to render photos of certain historical figures.

A community note has been placed by X on Bakke's post informing users that the document is, in fact, a fake.

Related: Google Wants Its Employees Back in the Office: Report

"This is a satirical post which is being quickly spread around and is confused by many believing it is real," the community note says. "It is not. Google has not announced any changes to Gmail."

Google also cleared the air in a post on the company's official account, noting that Gmail is not going anywhere.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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