5 Terrifying Online Trends (Invented By the News Media)

Humor site Cracked shares a funny yet disturbing article on technophobia in the media:

A year ago, 22-year-old Kwame Dancy was shot and killed. The headline: “Twitter Argument Leads to Alleged Murder.” The story even quotes his poor mother as saying, “… that’s crazy. I don’t know what’s going on with that Twitter thing.”

What’s going on with that Twitter thing is this: The news media always need a bogeyman.

When I was a teenager, it was metal music or gangster rap — after the Columbine shootings, the first theory was that the shooters had been brainwashed by Marilyn Manson. Then there was a brief period a few years ago when it was Grand Theft Auto, complete with implied causation headlines like, “Teen Shoots Three After Playing Violent Video Game.”

Today, the bogeyman is the Internet. If there’s a story involving crime or violence against a child that has even the most remote connection to some kind of networked technology, the technology itself becomes the center of the story. The stories follow the same template as when they were blaming music or games, and they’re equally rock-fuck stupid.

See original article for the countdown.

, , , ,

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention 5 Terrifying Online Trends (Invented By the News Media) | Disinformation -- Topsy.com

  • Simiantongue

    I wonder if back in the day when the Pony Express first started, that perhaps two men mailed each other some nasty letters which led to a deadly fight. Did the newspapers lay blame for the altercation on the Pony Express the next day?

  • Simiantongue

    I wonder if back in the day when the Pony Express first started, that perhaps two men mailed each other some nasty letters which led to a deadly fight. Did the newspapers lay blame for the altercation on the Pony Express the next day?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C5SV3Y6GG7GRK3NBX64IXAXDGM Jessica Hurst

      They probably would have blamed the Pony Express, ignoring the fact that the same Pony Express brought them the news of this event and connected them with their sources. And today, journalists blame Twitter when they themselves are heavily dependent on it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C5SV3Y6GG7GRK3NBX64IXAXDGM Jessica Hurst

    They probably would have blamed the Pony Express, ignoring the fact that the same Pony Express brought them the news of this event and connected them with their sources. And today, journalists blame Twitter when they themselves are heavily dependent on it.

  • Haystack

    I miss the D&D/Satanism/Heavy Metal scare of the 80′s. The best part of being Christian back then was reading the siliceous stories of women being enslaved into the Satanic underground and forced to give birth to an endless stream of undocumented babies to be used in human sacrifice…and how nobody ever got caught because all the police and politicians were in on it.The internet just isn’t as good a bogeyman.

  • Haystack

    I miss the D&D/Satanism/Heavy Metal scare of the 80′s. The best part of being Christian back then was reading the siliceous stories of women being enslaved into the Satanic underground and forced to give birth to an endless stream of undocumented babies to be used in human sacrifice…and how nobody ever got caught because all the police and politicians were in on it.The internet just isn’t as good a bogeyman.

    • Ironaddict06

      Don’t forget the Satanic messages you heard if you played the music backwards.

  • Butter Knife

    I think a great example is “cyber-bullying”.

    Phoebe Prince was local news for me (I actually spend a great deal of time in South Hadley, MA, and know many people who have graduated from that high school). Around here, the discussion id focused on bullying that occurred in the real world: statutory rape and assault and battery are both on the list of charges. This bullying also existed online, but it’s largely understood, here, that a Facebook conversation is only superficially different from a face to face one, or one over the phone. It facilitated the communication of hate in the same way it facilitates the communication of everything else.

    In national media, however, it is reported almost exclusively as “cyber-bullying”, originating on the internet and largely done through it. It’s almost flipped backwards from what we see, so that Phoebe was bullied online and it spilled into school. Plain and simple, that’s not what happened, it just apparently makes for a better cable news story if a young girl commits suicide after being bullied online than if a young girl commits suicide after being sexually humiliated and pelted with bottles.

  • Butter Knife

    I think a great example is “cyber-bullying”.

    Phoebe Prince was local news for me (I actually spend a great deal of time in South Hadley, MA, and know many people who have graduated from that high school). Around here, the discussion id focused on bullying that occurred in the real world: statutory rape and assault and battery are both on the list of charges. This bullying also existed online, but it’s largely understood, here, that a Facebook conversation is only superficially different from a face to face one, or one over the phone. It facilitated the communication of hate in the same way it facilitates the communication of everything else.

    In national media, however, it is reported almost exclusively as “cyber-bullying”, originating on the internet and largely done through it. It’s almost flipped backwards from what we see, so that Phoebe was bullied online and it spilled into school. Plain and simple, that’s not what happened, it just apparently makes for a better cable news story if a young girl commits suicide after being bullied online than if a young girl commits suicide after being sexually humiliated and pelted with bottles.

  • Ironaddict06

    Don’t forget the Satanic messages you heard if you played the music backwards.