Why does the press seem to love a Social Media bad news story?

The release on August 5th on a Marine Corps memo “banning” Social Media was misinterpreted by AP and started a firestorm of coverage in the press. At present, a Yahoo news search reveals over 1300 articles mentioning “Marines Ban Social Media”. However, when the Marines issued a clarification the next day stating specifically that the policy “does not limit Marines’ access to social networking sites”, very few media outlets and blogs bothered to retract or clarify their story.

During the 4th of July weekend, the Treasury Department and Federal Trade Commission websites were shut down for days by a cyber attack, yet coverage was not as prominent as Twitter’s shut down for 6 hours last week. There are 17,386 stories about it on Yahoo News.

Is this another blatant sign of our society’s inability to deal with profound changes? As Social Media alters the way people interact in a scale only experienced centuries ago when the printing press was invited but at an infinitely greater pace, is main stream society rooting for this to fail? How many “good news” stories does it now take to counter one (erroneous) “bad news” story?

I am concerned that the people that don’t understand the changes or are simply choosing not to get interested are drowning the good progress being made with their sensationalistic propaganda of the few things that are inevitably going to go wrong. How do we prevent the baby from being thrown away with the bath water?

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Craig Kessler

You could say that about any type of press or industry. Reason why steroid issues are always front page for baseball. Negative stories hold more interest and travel faster, more PR, more views.