It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
The Internet Is Terrible at Reporting Things
I didn't have that reaction, personally, even though this website has written about zombies more than a few times (and even though I've personally written about them [and even though we've wedged "ZOMBIES" into our book to draw more attention to it]). I read a news report, about a crazy man on a drug called bath salt that news reports are calling "the new '___'," and I thought "Holy #, that man's brain must have been profoundly diseased to make him do that. Also, I feel terrible for that poor guy who woke up to getting his face eaten by a stranger; that must have been terrible. Also everyone was naked, and that probably means something. And hang on, they're calling a drug that makes you violent and aggressive and face-hungry 'the new '___''? Either I've been taking the wrong kinds of acid or these news reporters don't actually know what '___' does, because people on actual acid NEVER try to eat each other's faces. I wonder if I should write to someone, about how we're really irresponsible in tossing around labels, and that we're giving '___' a bad name. Anyway there's a lot of information here but, mainly, this whole thing is horrible and tragic." That's how I processed the situation. And that's why it was strange when I saw that Twitter and Tumblr and bloggers were all throwing around zombie jokes immediately.
Suddenly Other Stories Started to Surface!
Why are all of these horribly gruesome and violent (but otherwise unrelated) events happening right now, of all times? Why has it only been happening in the last month? The boring truth is probably that they haven't been. I'm not saying these stories didn't happen -- they all did -- I'm saying that stuff like this almost definitely happens all over the world, all the time. Remember last year, when everyone thought the world was ending because birds kept dying? 5,000 birds dropped out of the sky in Arkansas, and then thousands of dead fish washed up on the shores of the Arkansas River, and then 500 birds died suddenly in Louisiana, and then a bunch of other birds died in a bunch of other places all over the world, all within the same two-month span.
Reporting on the Internet is Terrible And that's just how Internet journalism works. It's sort of terrible. Internet reporting is so completely pageview-driven that it doesn't really matter if your EXCITING HEADLINE is bull#. You write what people are going to be searching for, and right now, people are searching for zombie apocalypse-related information. You'll get more hits if you mention zombies, so who cares if it's incorrect, or journalistically irresponsible, or #ing stupid because zombies aren't real and you're supposed to be a news outlet not a traffic-chasing blog?! Who cares? In online journalism, you go where the traffic goes.
Because Cracked Had One of It's Traffic Best Days Ever It's true.
A comedy website that, until this instant, hadn't covered the Miami face-eating story at all, was suddenly pulling in a TON of traffic. At the office, we all scratched our heads for a while until we realized where all of this traffic was going to. An article about zombies that my coworker, David Wong wrote. Five years ago. That's the Internet. A man goes crazy and attacks another man, and the Internet turns it into a zombie joke. And then online journalists turn it into a zombie conspiracy, which drives the most paranoid or bored members of the Internet to read everything they can about zombies, which is why a 5-year-old article on a comedy website becomes one of the most popular and talked about articles on the Internet for a second time.