Scary Stories to Tell by the Light of Your Screen

Kate Farrell, author of Story Power, has written a new blog post on the best scary stories to tell during this spooky time.

Scary Stories to Tell by the Light of Your Screen

One of my favorite parts of Halloween is having an excuse to scare the pants off people. It’s the time of year for ghosts, for creeping dread, and peering into the void. And what could possibly be better for horror than the future?

Seven of our reporters imagined the spookiest possible outcomes on their beats — the horrors of the future. Turn the lights off, and dial up the brightness of your screen. Maybe you’ll see it, just out of the corner of your eye: the fear that’s always lurking. The possibility that the bright future we’re trying to create will go dreadfully, immensely wrong, with very human consequences. Read these stories alone in the dark… if you dare.

~Elizabeth Lopatto, Editor, The Verge

The Moderators

One night, a woman checked her DMs and found a message listing her home address and threatening to murder her.

The frightened woman reported the threat and went to sleep. When she woke up, she expected the platform to say the message was protected free speech, as usual. But miraculously… the user had been suspended.

The internet had changed. Tech companies began reporting threats to police. They shut down neo-Nazi forums. They banned genocide-fomenting propaganda bots, causing fascist political parties to dissolve. The web started to feel almost safe.

A few weeks later, the woman picked up her phone to talk to a friend. But the chat app had no on-screen keyboard — just a list of bland pre-canned auto-replies. She tapped a selection, only to see a link appear below it, recommending a product she’d recently bought.

“YOU CAN LOG BACK ON WHEN YOU’VE CALMED DOWN!”

The woman swore in frustration and tried again… but her phone had locked up. “It sounds like you’re angry,” blinked an error message. “You can log back on when you’ve calmed down!” It offered to let her online if she bought a health monitoring bracelet and signed up for SoulCycle.

Desperate, the woman grabbed a pen and paper, intending to write a letter. But as she signed her name, she realized… The internet companies were moderating the postal service, too.

~Adi Robertson, Reporter, The Verge


Story Power by Kate Farrell

Story power

Secrets to Creating, Crafting, and Telling Memorable Stories

Stories are everywhere. The art of storytelling has been around as long as humans have. And in today’s noisy, techy, automated world, storytelling is not only prevalent—it’s vital. Whether you’re interested in enlivening conversation, building your business brand, sharing family wisdom, or performing on stage, Story Power will show you how to make use of a good story.

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