Fear, uncertainty and doubt

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Fear, uncertainty, and doubt, or FUD, is a form of public relations propaganda intended to frighten consumers away from considering alternate products or services. Some notable international corporations are notoriously known for using such tactics, and a class of business writers who are willing to generate well-written FUD have been labeled as "corporate whores", a term that was originally invented in response to IBM's bully tactics[1] back in the salad days of the IT industry.

Many years later, after it became overwhelmingly common for companies to have a computer at almost every employee's desk, Microsoft became better-known for FUD due to their particular vehemence for the free open source software movement. One example of FUD terminology is vaporware: Suppose a company is trying to market a software product that provides feature X. Microsoft will announce that it intends to bundle its own application that also provides feature X for free in the next Service Pack for the Windows Operating System, leading to customers deciding not to purchase the alternate product with the expectation of getting feature X for free with an upcoming round of patches from Redmond, but the promised Microsoft product never appears.

FUD is a commonly-employed tactic when it comes to infrastructure investment, particularly public transport and high speed rail. (To wit.) For certain political groups (Conservatives) it's ideal. Can't have the government doing something useful, must make money for the vultures.

In security, FUD can also stand for "Fully Undetectable", as in a virus that can't be picked up by antivirus software, like the rootkit the NSA has on your computer.

[edit] See also

  • Due diligence
  • Politics of fear
  • Tony Abbott - Abbott with his irrational bashing of the internet (I can't mine fiber! COPPER! COPPER IS THE FUTURE!) created a misconception in the public about the National Broadband Network, which wasn't even taxpayer-funded. Then when he and Turnbull came in and wrecked it, most people and the media were already sick of talking about it, allowing it to become terrible with a lot of silence.

[edit] Footnotes

  1. One of the original definers for the term itself was SERIOUS about this stuff, and it stuck in usage for this reason.
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