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Fear Uncertainty Doubt FAQ

Page history last edited by Bob-RJ Burkhart 9 years, 2 months ago

According to some commentators, examples of political FUD are:


 "domino theory", "electronic Pearl Harbor", and "weapons of mass destruction".[23]


Fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD)

is a tactic used in sales, marketing, public relations,[1][2]politics and propaganda.


FUD is generally a strategic attempt to influence public perception by disseminating negative and dubious/false information designed to undermine the credibility of their beliefs. An individual firm, for example, might use FUD to invite unfavorable opinions and speculation about a competitor's product; to increase the general estimation of switching costs among current customers; or to maintain leverage over a current business partner who could potentially become a rival.


FUD techniques may be crude and simple, as in claiming "I read a paper by a Harvard professor that shows you are wrong regarding subject XXX", but said paper does not exist. (Were the paper to exist then it would not be FUD but valid criticism.) Alternatively FUD may be very subtle, employing an indirect approach. Someone who employs FUD cannot generally back up their claims (e.g., "I don't recall which professor or which year the paper is from"). To dispel FUD, the easiest way is to ask for details and then provide well researched hard facts which disprove them. For instance, if it can be shown that no Harvard professor has ever written a paper on subject XXX, then the FUD is dispelled.


The term originated to describe disinformation tactics in the computer hardware industry and has since been used more broadly.[3]
FUD is a manifestation of the appeal to fear.


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La Flecha ... peaceCENTER ... SmartMeme ...

Thinking Habits ... New Mexico Historic Markers ... Mormon Battalion Trek ...


... a pass much used by Indians, Spaniards and Anglos traveling from the Plains

by way of the Cimarron River (called La Flecha -- the arrow -- in 1719). ...



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sites spark fears of bubble,” Financial Times, April 30, 2007. 11.
The same study also found that news video viewing in particular
was higher among men than women, as well as those with higher levels of income




fear [feer]

noun (plural fears)

1. feeling of anxiety: an unpleasant feeling of anxiety or apprehension caused by the presence or anticipation of danger
  • showed no signs of fear
2. frightening thought: an idea, thought, or other entity that causes feelings of fear
  • irrational fears
3. reverence: respect or awe for somebody or something
  • the fear of God
4. worry: a concern about something that threatens to bring bad news or results (often used in the plural)
  • fears for their safe return
verb (past and past participle feared, present participle fear·ing, 3rd person present singular fears)
1. transitive and intransitive verb be afraid: to be frightened of somebody or something or about taking action
  • She fears going to the dentist.
2. transitive verb feel reverence for somebody or something: to show respect for or be in awe of somebody or something
  • fear God
3. transitive verb express regretfully: to be sorry to say something (formal)
  • I fear that you have not been successful on this occasion.
[ Old English fǣr "calamity, danger," fǣran "frighten" < Indo-European, "to try"]



Lehman, M.M., "Uncertainty in Computer Applications and its Control trough the Engineering of Software," Journal of Software Maintenance, vol. 1, pp. 3-28, 1989.
Marca, D. and McGowan, C.L., SADT: structured analysis



the uncertainty that exists about global warming is primarily about how severe this warming trend will be and, to a lesser extent, whether the scientific evidence suggests primarily a human, rather than a natural …





un·cer·tain·ty [un súrt'ntee]

(plural un·cer·tain·ties)
1. fact of being uncertain: the quality or state of being uncertain
2. unpredictable thing: something that nobody can predict or guarantee (often used in the plural)
  • economic uncertainties





doubt [dowt]

transitive verb (past and past participle doubt·ed, present participle doubt·ing, 3rd person present singular doubts)
1. think something unlikely: to feel unconvinced or uncertain about something, or think that something is unlikely
  • I doubt if he'll come.
2. not trust somebody or something: to suspect that somebody is not sincere or trustworthy, or that something is not true, likely, or genuine
  • no reason to doubt her
noun (plural doubts)
1. uncertainty or mistrust: a feeling or state of uncertainty, especially as to whether somebody is sincere or trustworthy, or as to whether something is true, likely, or genuine
2. philosophy method of philosophical questioning: a method of questioning claims to knowledge, especially in the philosophy of Descartes
[13th century. Via Old French doter < Latin dubitare "be uncertain" < dubius "uncertain"]
-doubt·a·ble, adjective
-doubt·a·bly, adverb
-doubt·er, noun
-doubt·ing·ly, adverb
beyond doubt completely certain
no doubt almost definitely
in doubt
1. not feeling confident or sure about something
2. unlikely or improbable
open to or in doubt not certain, settled, foreseeable with confidence, or finally proved
Word Key: Synonyms
See doubtful.

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