Here's a heaping of fresh new Slenderman panic from American news outlets, courtesy of Jesse Walker:
A fictional horror creature popularized by Internet memes is now linked to three violent crimes.
Note the powerful weasel language: the passive voice ("is now linked") removes all agency (as opposed to: "this writer links"). And the weakness of "linked", which can mean anything from "played a key role" to "I found a picture of it on the same coffee table".
Then relish this grandly gory picture + shrieking headline:
A week after two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls allegedly stabbed their friend 19 times to honor Slender Man, more real-life connections to the spooky character are emerging.
"Connections"? As with "links" we can imagine just about anything from this word, mostly not having anything to do with any actual crimes.
Perhaps we should expect more out of this media panic, like schools cracking down on Slenderman imagery on kids' laptops, or towns banning the sale of blank white masks. Before the panic bubble bursts these professional, sober media outlets will run more of these stories, developing the background even further, and contributing to the Slenderman myth cycle.
PS: today's Slendy's fifth birthday, according to this nice source. Happy birthday, Tall Man!
(thanks to Steven Burnett for the last link)