Google: “Gmail is here to stay” 

Google has had to address a widespread hoax circulating on social media that falsely claimed Gmail was set to shut down. The misinformation, originating on X (formerly Twitter), garnered over seven million views as it asserted that Gmail would be closing its services in August. Google swiftly responded on the same platform, publicly declaring that Gmail is “here to stay.”

This incident highlights the persistent challenge of combating misinformation online. Communications experts emphasize the public’s tendency to believe unverified information due to the lack of effective tools and processes for fact-checking.

The dangers of misinformation on social networks are underscored, and X, in particular, faces criticism for its role in spreading falsehoods. In 2023, the EU identified X as a platform worse than its counterparts in terms of disseminating misinformation. Despite X expressing commitment to addressing hate speech while safeguarding free speech, challenges persist in curbing the spread of false information.

The viral hoax seems to be based on a legitimate email from Google in 2023, notifying users about the cessation of access to Gmail’s basic HTML view. While the post claims the end of Gmail’s journey, Google firmly denies these assertions.

However, it is acknowledged that Google has indeed discontinued some services in recent years, including the Stadia gaming platform, YouTube Stories, and the closure of old Gmail accounts. Plans to shutter Google Podcasts have also been announced, with its functionality effectively replaced by YouTube Music, a service owned by Google. Despite these changes, Gmail remains the world’s most popular email service, boasting over 1.5 billion active users globally, according to Statista.