How Slender Man Works

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Author's Note: How Slender Man Works

It seems inevitable that Creepypasta received a great deal of negative attention in the wake of the Wisconsin stabbing. The site's deliberate effort to blur fact and fiction was dangerous, some felt. But of course, that blur is what makes it popular. The administrator of Creepypasta has been quoted urging parents to teach their children how to differentiate fantasy from reality. Not bad advice, but the truth is most kids can do that from a relatively early age. Those who can't might have deeper issues. It seems to me that what lies behind the fascination with stories like the Slender Man stabbing is a societal unwillingness to deal compassionately with mental illness. Strange stabbings and school shootings might sell the news, but at some point we have to stop sensationalizing random violence while stigmatizing the mental health issues that might be contributing factors.

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