... and the reason that is true, even in the Internet Age, is because the speed at which a story travels is proportional to how interesting it is, not how true it is.
Which reminds me:
Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws. The Hingefreel people of Arkintoofle Minor did try to build spaceships that were powered by bad news but they didn't work particularly well and were so extremely unwelcome whenever they arrived anywhere that there wasn't really any point in being there.
Blackmail is not extortion
Of course it's not! The 'x' in extortion makes it sound cool.