No, it's not some weird attempt to be cool. It's to bring attention to the fact that the popular media (and therefore the population at large) is today still fundamentally ignorant and paranoid of what the Internet is all about. As Mike Emke said in a recent article in the Washington Post, "We get portrayed in a crappy light...This time it's a cult. Usually, it's that we're all child pornographers."
For example, check out the sensationalistic cover of Time magazine, following the mass suicide of the Heaven's Gate cult in California:
Newsweek used the phrase "Web of Death", too, but at least they only used it inside the magazine. That way only the several million people who are foolish enough to open the magazine will have their thoughts polluted. Good job, guys.