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FACT CHECK: Gmail is not shutting down

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FACT CHECK: Gmail is not shutting down
The misleading viral announcement that Google would be sunsetting its email service is fake

Claim: Tech giant Google announced that its email service program, Gmail, will officially be sunsetted on August 1, 2024.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: A screenshot of a supposed email to Gmail users is circulating across X (formerly Twitter), claiming that the email service will no longer support sending, receiving, or storing emails starting August 1, 2024. 

One user who posted the claim is a verified X account that has over 100,000 followers. As of writing, the post has garnered 8.7 million views, 10,000 likes, 2,000 replies, and 3,600 combined reposts and quotes. 

Carrying the logo of Google and Gmail, a part of the message reads: “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.” 

The bottom line: Gmail is not shutting down. Google has not issued any announcement that Gmail will sunset in August 2024, and no reputable news outlet has confirmed the supposed shutdown.

On February 23, Gmail indirectly addressed the false claim in a post on X, saying that “Gmail is here to stay.”

According to technology news site TechCrunch, Google is only letting go of its older Gmail HTML version and transitioning users to the standard version. 

Debunked: Agence France-Presse (AFP), Forbes, and other reputable news organizations have also debunked the fake announcement on Gmail’s alleged shutdown.

According to AFP, the viral shutdown notice was a doctored image created by X user “SHL0MS” as a hoax.

Gemini controversy: The misleading announcement coincided with Google’s announcement that it was pausing the image generation of people feature in its AI tool, Gemini (formerly Bard), following backlash over inaccuracies in historical image depictions. This comes just three weeks after the tech giant began offering a “more improved” image generation feature.

Disinformation on X: While some users who posted the misleading announcement have a verified badge, this does not necessarily mean that they provide genuine information. 

It can be recalled that starting April 1, 2023, X announced that it would begin winding down its legacy Verification program, which issued a blue verified badge to accounts that were active, notable, and authentic.

Under the new system, users can now pay to be verified on the platform as long as they have an active subscription to X Premium and meet eligibility requirements. 

According to Technology Transparency Project director Katie Paul, as quoted by NBC News, this feature helps disinformation thrive on the platform. – Larry Chavez/

Larry Chavez is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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