More recently, sociologists Angela McRobbie and Sarah Thornton have argued, in "Rethinking 'Moral Panic' for Multi-Mediated Social Worlds,”
that “folk devils” can be deployed more forcefully and with greater vigor in a social media world – there’s little gatekeeping any more to keep the most pernicious untruths at bay, meaning that every accusation and rumor, no matter how outrageous, gains validity.
It’s much easier to tar a group now as ‘the ultimate danger’. Democracies have been upended by this, and populations decimated. Because of that ease of branding, it’s more important than ever to be vigilant when we see these folk devils being invented.
The flames of fear are a strong motivator, and the ‘folk devil’ adds fuel to the fire.