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PALO ALTO – Facebook continues to deny rumors it is shutting down on March 15. WWN, however, has confirmed that it is true.

On January 9th, WWN’s ace reporter, J.B. Smitts, broke the international story that Facebook was going to close down on March 15th because Mark Zuckerberg wanted to return to a normal life. The story caused a worldwide sensation, and J.B. Smitts has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for breaking it.

Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg has publicly denied the rumors, saying, “Facebook is not going to close down. Not now, not ever. We’re just getting started.”

David Ebersman, the CFO of Facebook, and the man working with Goldman Sachs on the new Facebook financing deal said, “many people feel that the deal with Goldman Sachs will lead to a change in Facebook or that we might shut down so the government won’t force us to go public. All of those rumors are false. We are going to be stronger than ever after March 15th.”

But WWN has spoken to insiders at Facebook who strongly contradict the public statements of the executive management team.

Sources inside Facebook tell us that the company is already making plans on how to handle the big shutdown. “We can’t just turn it off on March 15th. There will be a revolution,” said one insider. “We have to prepare our users for the end of Facebook and offer them ways to keep their social networks alive.”

There are rumors that Zuckerberg himself will appear on the Oscars on February 27th, when The Social Network is sure to win Best Picture of the Year Award. New rumors are that Zuckerberg will make “an important announcement to the world” about the future of Facebook.

Meanwhile, there is panic all around the globe as Facebook users (and addicts) are frightened that they may lose their social networking community. Top celebrities Tyra Banks, Mila Kunis, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Justin Beiber, Ashton Kutchter, Carrot Top, Meryl Streep, Danny Bonaduce and the Real Housewives of New Jersey and Atlanta are all panicking about losing Facebook. “I’m addicted to Facebook,” said Tyra Banks. “Without it, my life is over!”

An online petition was started just hours ago to help persuade Zuckerberg and Facebook to remain open.

The organizer of the “Please Do Not Shut Down Facebook Petition”, Fritz Barnkopf, said, “we hope to get a million or more signatures before the Oscars, so Mark Zuckerberg will reconsider his tragic decision.”

WWN is following this developing story closely – constantly talking with Facebook insiders. We certainly are rooting for Facebook to continue because it’s an important part of our own social media strategy and leading source for our site visits.