Can You Please Leave The Internet For A While – Cleaning In Progress

The internet spring cleaning hoax is quite an old email forward but it always made me chuckle.

It also seems to be back in vogue again as I have already received it 7 times this week!


The majority of people who receive this email will see it for what it is – a hoax – but I wouldn’t be surprised if a few fall for it and believe they have to vacate the internet for a day or two 😀

Subject: Internet Outage for Cleaning and Maintenance


*** Attention ***

It’s that time again! As many of you know, each year the Internet must be shut down for 24 hours in order to allow us to clean it. The cleaning process, which eliminates dead email and inactive ftp, www and gopher sites, allows for a better-working and faster Internet.

This year, the cleaning process will take place from 23:59 pm (GMT) on July 31st until 00:01 am (GMT) on August 2nd. During that 24-hour period, five powerful Internet-crawling robots situated around the world will search the Internet and delete any data that they find.

In order to protect your valuable data from deletion we ask that you do the following:

* 1. Disconnect all terminals and local area networks from their Internet connections.

* 2. Shut down all Internet servers, or disconnect them from the Internet.

* 3. Disconnect all disks and hardrives from any connections to the Internet.

* 4. Refrain from connecting any computer to the Internet in any way.

We understand the inconvenience that this may cause some Internet users, and we apologize. However, we are certain that any inconveniences will be more than made up for by the increased speed and efficiency of the Internet, once it has been cleared of electronic flotsam and jetsam.

We thank you for your cooperation.

Interconnected Network Maintenance Staff
Main Branch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sysops and others: Since the last Internet cleaning, the number of Internet users has grown dramatically. Please assist us in alerting the public of the upcoming Internet cleaning by posting this message where your users will be able to read it.

Please pass this message on to other sysops and Internet users as well.

If you get this email do your gullible friends a favour and keep it to yourself!!!

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. i guess you know i could have some fun with this one, would fit right in with my rep.

  2. Where did i put that link i had to the – End of the Internet, never can find it when i need it,,,lol.

    • I’ve got a post about that somewhere too!

      The internet ends in 2012.


      • I had two websites that when you went to them they both said something like – you have reached the last page of the internet, now turn off you computer an get a life or its time to start all over.

  3. Only shutting down for a day? Obviously they are not cleaning all the porn out then that would take months 😀

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