Fact Check

Will Netflix be Discontinued Because of Rampant Account Sharing?

Reports that Netflix would be closing in June 2017 because too many people share their accounts with friends originated with a prank news site.

Published March 14, 2017

 (Kaspars Grinvalds / Shutterstock.com)
Image courtesy of Kaspars Grinvalds / Shutterstock.com
Netflix is shutting down in June 2017 because too many people share their accounts with their friends.

In March 2017 a creation of the EarlyView.net "prank news" site fooled social media users into believing the popular Netflix entertainment streaming service would soon be discontinuing service in June 2017 "due to the company losing money ... from people sharing each other's accounts":

Users who actually clicked on the article link to view details of the announcement were shown a "you got owned" message, revealing that the "article" was actually a prank:

Prank news sites are not entirely like their fake news counterparts, as they enable user-generated hoaxes designed to trick one's friends on social media. However, generalized hoaxes such as this one about Netflix's purported shuttering tend to quickly move outside any one user's group of friends and end up shared broadly on social media platforms.

Netflix wasn't the first entity targeted by EarlyView.net pranks. In February 2017 the site helped spread a death hoax about Walking Dead star Andrew Lincoln, and a similar hoax about actor William H. Macy the following month.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.