The government wants us to be afraid; since they’ve gotten into the practice of running our lives (or ruining them), they need us (society) to feel a need for their continuous involvement. If you’re not afraid of SO’s, then let it be global warming. If it’s not global warming, let it be terrorist, etc. They need these fears in order to justify their involvement by making new laws and regulations – not to mention their manufacturing of “criminals”.
As to the people that buy into all the hype, they typically do not want to read more than a click-bait article. No time to research on their own or to discuss the topic with someone who may have better information than the click-bait they just read on Facebook. It’s very sad that there are so many who will rely on cheap entertainment, but they do exist. Then there are the ones who feel included on the potential victim lists. Of course, they feel the need to draw the attention to themselves by claiming to be “protecting” the children or any other reason they can muster as justification, but they love the limelight and their soap box.