Talk:Fear, uncertainty, and doubt

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I removed the bizarre reference to a CVE-2008-5353 proof of concept under the "Security FUD" section. The applet in question worked for months, and then was disabled when Apple patched their software. I don't see how that can be considered "FUD" -- especially FUD intended to sell a security product -- since the vulnerability was known and unpatched for a year, the demo applet was widely reported to work successfully before the issue was patched, and author of the applet in question doesn't work in security and doesn't sell security software. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:44, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

What happened with the clarification and examples of FUD, at the very top? The thing about "paper from a Harvard professor" and how to dispel FUD? I thought it was enlightening and instructive how to dispel FUD. Please put that explanation back! Right now, it is to vague description of FUD. It needs some examples and clarification, and above all, explain how to counter FUD, how to dispel FUD. What else should my company do, when we face FUD? I need to see that explanation again. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:11, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

FUD in and of itself[edit]

I always thought of FUD as a term used in the IT industry. Seeing the use of the term FUD expanded into politics, etc. is just total POV fluff. You could argue that FUD has been around since humans first learned to communicate with one another, or, to make it even fluffier, you could say that FUD is a tool that has been used by many organisms in the natural selection process since life began on this planet (or galaxy, or universe, or multiverse). But what would be the point of that? This whole article is just a one line definition of FUD, followed by a bunch of non-neutral POV fluffy examples. Did I mention how fluffy this article is? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:14, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

FUD refers to something more specific than just human "lying", it's more akin to industrial sabotage. Either way, the examples don't illustrate any POV problems whatsoever... Maybe you're suggesting another problem with the article? Johnny "ThunderPeel2001" Walker (talk) 11:29, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Recent developments[edit]

This needs a re-write. Drop the mention of Apple as mentioned in the section below. Remove all the vague references to unnamed groups of people spreading supposed FUD. Remove the stuff about FOSS advocates being accused of FUD. The keener FOSS advocates are accused of rabid zealotry by their foes and not FUD. Remove the references to Slashdot - one is an ad hominen attack and the other is a really dull post about FUD-Lite. Reomve the stuff about 'Werewolf' as it's irrelevant. Rewrite what remains into something better approximating English. Something like this perhpas:

"Since the 1990s the term has become associated more with industry giant Microsoft than IBM. The Halloween documents, leaked internal Microsoft documents whose authenticity was verified by the company, use the term FUD to describe a potential tactic: "OSS is long-term credible … [therefore] FUD tactics can not be used to combat it."[3] More recently, Microsoft has issued statements about the "viral nature" of the GNU General Public License (GPL), statements which Open Source proponents purport to be FUD.

The SCO Group's 2003 lawsuit against IBM, claiming intellectual property infringements by the open source community, is also regarded by some as being an attempt at spreading FUD. The suggested fear is that using Linux without a licence from SCO leaves the user vulnerable to intellectual property infringement lawsuits of their own. IBM directly alleged in its counterclaim to SCO's suit that SCO is spreading FUD.[4]"

I agree, rewrite this. The section on the Consoles and Video Games is hardly an example of FUD. I'm not saying the industry doesn't have any FUD, but the examples given or cited do not qualify. (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 18:44, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
It's still a FUD war, with Microsoft supporters claiming FUD on the part of FOSS advocates. It needs a lot more of "[referenceURL they] say," and in general, sources for all statements, or else the unsourced statements need to be removed.Cherlin 23:25, 25 November 2006 (UTC)


"Although once it was usually attributed to IBM, in the 1990s and later the term became most often associated with industry giant Microsoft and Apple Computer." This sentence is followed by accounts of Microsoft's relationship to FUD, but Apple never appears in the article again. Why is Apple mentioned?emw 18:38, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Well, there's the whole FUD campaign against the Zune, and the one against PCs - but it's weird that it's not mentioned, yeah. Aerothorn 17:32, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
The Mac VS. PC ads are classic FUD. Jmical (talk) 17:09, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I think there are statements from Steve Jobs that can be classified as FUD? Can we have them included? (talk) 05:23, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Ballmer quote[edit]

I'm moving this to the Talk page until it can be attributed, especially as Google returns no hits for it:

In a 2004 interview on the growing prominence of Linux, Steve Ballmer's FUD-based ideas had racist undertones, when he commented, "Are you going to trust some guy in China?" 22:41, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Steve Ballmer's FUD-based ideas had racist undertones, when he commented, "Are you going to trust some guy in China?" -Sounds like this might have been taken out of context, can anyone confirm or deny this?


Noting that Microsoft has professional developers working with a common methodology, he (Ballmer) said, "Should there be a reason to believe that code that comes from a variety of people, unknown from around the world, should be somehow of higher quality than that from people who get paid to do it professionally?

"There's no reason to believe it would be of higher quality. I'm not necessarily claiming it should be of worse quality, but why should code submitted randomly by some hacker in China and distributed by some open source project, why is that, by definition, better?"

So it is sophistry, it is FUD, it is racist, and it is anti-hacker, as though hackers are all bad guys writing Trojan horses.

"I was reading a sign high on the wall behind the bar:

"'Only genuine pre-war British and American whiskeys served here,'

"I was trying to count how many lies could be found in those nine words, and had reached four, with promise of more …"

--Dashiell Hammett, "The Golden Horseshoe"

It is possible, indeed easy, to argue that the following components of Ballmer's statement are intended to create fear, to create uncertainty, and to create doubt, and are false:

  • methodology ("Trust us: We're experts!")
  • reason to believe (vs fact)
  • somehow (vs stated reasons)
  • unknown (vs registered developers)
  • no reason
  • randomly (vs intentionally, with code review before checkin)
  • some (as though that signifies something about the "hacker")
  • China (well, not totally a lie, but there are a lot of other countries)
  • hacker (as though hackers do nothing but write Trojan horses)
  • some (as though that signifies something about the Open Source project)
  • by definition (vs as a matter of observation and experience)

Cherlin 23:27, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't believe that Ballmer's comments constitute racism, but they definitely constitute FUD. Saying 'a hacker in China'... China is a country, not a race. There's no mention of race in his statement. Any time a country other than America, Canada, or Great Britain is mentioned, racism is automatically assumed. (talk) 17:24, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree to your questioning of the racism charge. Ballmer's choice of China as an example resonates most with my perception of the unaccountability of Chinese programmers and China's unwillingness to enforce international law and intellectual rights. However, for someone sensitive to issues of racism, I am surprised at your hyperbolic generalization about when racism is assumed.
Jojalozzo (talk) 18:38, 18 October 2009 (UTC)

Is this mere opinion or is there any factual evidence for this statement in the article "FUD against Microsoft-products exist also, but not in same extent as FUD against Open Source-products." ?? The Open-Source movement has been very vocal about spreading fear with regards to MS products.

It isn't FUD when it's factual. We can quote CERT and numerous industry experts on the security failings of MS products, including Windows, IE, Office, Outlook, and IIS.Cherlin 23:27, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Certainly the same can be done for OSS products thus validating Microsoft's claims about increased TCO of competing products. It's not FUD when my side says it might be more appropriate. Right now the FUD article is clearly biased and at least online there is far more FUD spread regarding Microsoft products than the other way around. (talk) 00:41, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Dropping Open Source Confusing Reference[edit]

I think the definition needs to be sharpened up here and unproved references to open source need to be dropped. Although the author cites Raymond's words "any kind of disinformation used as a competitive weapon", FUD as a term today is actually used in a less inclusive sense in tech and forum dialogues.

Unless used as a simple counter-slur (which I've actually never seen), the term refers to a consciously decided upon marketing strategy for creating a semi-nebulous atmosphere of fear-uncertainty-doubt. That is what made the "Halloween documents" so interesting and left Microsoft open to the obvious mantle of succession for the old IBM's strategy.

As written, the element of pseudo-balance obscures the definition.


I'd always heard it as FUDD: Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt, Despair, but it appears that this is merely a variation on the original. I see this term used a lot to describe Intel's business tactics. Anybody else use FUDD? dreddnott 16:18, 17 August 2006 (UTC)[edit]

I removed the link to from the external links section, since the forum does not appear to have anything to do with FUD as described in this article at all, but is the name of some forum software. If I am mistaken, feel free to add it back in with a comment here explaining how it relates. W 08:06, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Correct, FUDforum is an abbreviation of Fast Uncompromising Discussion forum. Naudefj (talk) 09:57, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

George W Bush vs. George HW Bush[edit]

I'm not aware of anything in the 2004 campaign that could be considered FUD.

LOL. What about the attacks on McCain, implying that his adopted daughter was illegitimate; on war heroes Max Cleland and John Kerry, accusing them of cowardice, treason, and other offenses; the constant claim that a vote for the Democrats was a vote for Al Qaeda, and other campaign slurs and dirty tricks? Continuing into the 2006 campaign, as it happens.

Perhaps the writer was thinking of George HW Bush and his use of Willie Horton in a quite cheap and base play towards racial fears in the 1988 race against Dukakis? Might this be a good example of political FUD?

That and much more, with a very long history. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, for example, or the 200-year old Federalist charge that Thomas Jefferson was, in effect, a Commie Pinko radical/Liberal wingnut intending to bring the Terror of the French Revolution to the United States. The Republican Southern strategy is more than a century old. They allied themselves with so-called Democrats in the South to support segregation overtly or covertly. Sen. Trent Lott's election as Minority Whip of the Senate is more than a little ironic.
Or Johnson vs Goldwater, with the nuclear blasts in the ads.
"I offer my opponents a bargain: If they will stop lying about me, I will stop telliing the truth about them."--Democratic Presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson

The Swift Boat Vets campaign most certainly was FUD, and I changed the sentence in the article to accurately reflect the reference given. It was incorrect anyway, citing that critics of Bush accused Kerry of FUD, which doesn't even make sense. Jmical (talk) 17:13, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Proof? Nah! Talking points all the way! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:32, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Fucked-Up Data?[edit]

Hmm... ever since I first saw this term on Slashdot, I'd assumed that FUD stood for Fucked-Up Data. You learn something new everyday, lol. --Crnk Mnky 13:34, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

You wern't too far off, and judging by most fud around at the moment, it comes down to that. Laurielegit (talk) 19:28, 19 June 2009 (UTC)


This section was uncyclopedic and violated NPOV. I've reproduced it here.

How does this relate back to Microsoft? Well SCO would not have been able to launch the legal attacks without the $ 50 million in backing it recieved from a venture capital firm named Baystar. Baystar front man Larry Goldfarb in a sworn deposition, stated "Sometime in 2003, I was approached by Richard Emerson [Microsoft's senior vice president for corporate development and strategy] about investing in SCO, a company about which I knew little or nothing at the time. Mr. Emerson stated that Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system." [1]
Which brings us to 2006's controversy over Microsoft, Novell, and Steve Ballmer's threats to sue Linux users for intellectual property rights infringement.[2] Is Microsoft going to use some of its massive cash reservoir to launch legal action against users of Linux? Or is Ballmer engaging in FUD marketing to spur sales of the $ 400 Vista OS?

--DCrazy talk/contrib 02:41, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

If this is not FUD then what is ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

This is counter-FUD. Since FUD is an entirely negative concept, counter-FUD is inherently positive. If you disagree, you're most likely Bill Gates or one of his subordinates, and should FOAD.
Well, j/k. But seriously, this does qualify as FUD, although it's mainly intended to counter the FUD campaigns by Microsoft. -- intgr 12:44, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

$100 laptop[edit]

Considering (if recently) the Gates Foundation has made a commitment to (for example) eliminate the Top 20 diseases in the world within a lifetime, I'm sure Microsoft donates $lots to AIDS research and etc, doesn't Gates' quote about a laptop being useless to a dying African family actually show no FUD at all? Maybe the explanation of the FUD is just poor here, but it's hard to dismiss the viewpoint of a guy who's working to (overstated example) eliminate AIDS instead of giving laptops to people dying of AIDS. In this instance at least, I see more honest concern than FUD (they could just donate that money to a foundation seeking to teach sustainable agriculture, or cure diseases, or fund hospitals....). I'm not putting down the project here, mind you, but in this instance, Gates has a big-time trump card on this front. Again, maybe I'm missing something. 16:48, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

See also[edit]

Why is there a link to fanboyism? I don't really get the relevance.

Fanboys often like to FUD about rival products; see ATI fans vs. Nvidia fans, AMD vs. Intel. Rarely will there be an argumented debate, but often FUD tactics will be employed to convince an audience of the holy truth that ATI is way better and the GeForce cards just aren't reliable. Such is the relevance. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 08:01, 16 March 2007 (UTC).

Environmentalists FUD?[edit]

As somebody already stated on this talk page, it isn't FUD if it's true. Scientific evidence, which has not been refuted, has been provided on global warming that if we do not pass certain laws, it WILL result in a global cataclysm. That makes environmetalist scare tactics a rather bad example of FUD, since they are actually not spreading doubt or uncertainty, only justified fear. And if they do FUD, add a citation and specify the exact group that does, because it is a VERY far-fetched statement to say that global warming awareness campaigns are FUD tactics.You can't call ANYTHING FUD if it's backed with consistent logical and empirical arguments.

However, the FUD here on both sides of the argument are (assuming global warming is true) that: 1. It is empirically proven to be man-made, and thus preventable or reversible by human intervention. 2. That a law or set of laws will subsequently force the correct human intervention. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:10, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Added a fact tag. (talk) 21:57, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
Most extreme examples (such as "global catacylsm") come across very much as scaremongering rather than outright FUD (such outcomes are usually right at the extremes of predictions and aren't terribly plausible). Complete FUD, as opposed to scaremongering, is largely the tactic from the other side, which appears to rely almost entirely on fear ("It's all an excuse for the government to control you!") and uncertainty and doubt (constantly trying to cast doubt and uncertainty on research and researchers instead of actually doing some serious studies that show contrary results). Riedquat (talk) 17:18, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

SCO stock drops in the future past tense[edit]

The campaign evidently worked, as SCO stock skyrocketed from under $3 a share to over $20 in a matter of weeks in 2003. (It later dropped to around[11] $1.20—then crashed to under 50 cents on October 13 2007 in the aftermath of a ruling that Novell owns the UNIX copyrights). [12]

I don't know the exact date, but somebody made a chronology error on "October 13 2007." That's over a month from now —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:56, August 30, 2007 (UTC)


My english teacher always told me there should be a comma there after "uncertainty". Where is it and why does Fear, uncertainty, and doubt redirect here instead of the other way around? --frotht 03:21, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

See Serial comma: There is no consensus among writers or editors on the use of the serial comma. It is nearly standard use in American English, but less common in British English. So it's probably a dialect thing. --ais523 18:04, 10 October

2007 (UTC)

While there is dispute, wouldn't it be clearer to have the title and the phrase in the first sentence use the same punctuation? Should the oxford comma be removed from the first sentence? (talk) 16:45, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Since the original use of the phrase "fear, uncertainty, and doubt" does not drop the comma, I can't see why this article does, unless it's somehow important for Wiki article titles to have as few characters as possible. We shuold probably change it back. Heian-794 (talk) 17:57, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

When does a legitimate warning become a FUD tactic? That MS press-releases spread FUD is Original Research.[edit]

I'd have thought that a warning isn't (necessarily) designed to spread FUD if:

  • A) It's telling people something true which they might not know and would effect them, or
  • B) It's a threat primarily aimed at getting something specific from the threatened party.

Since Microsoft's threats & warnings against GNU can be defended on these grounds, the existence of these threats doesn't act as strong enough evidence for FUD-tactics for Wikipedia to make the connection itself. (See WP:OR.)

Somebody needs to add a citation of a reliable commentor saying that they are FUD tactics before they can be offered here as evidence of Microsoft's perceived FUD spreading. (Again, please see WP:OR.) --Wragge 15:09, 9 November 2007 (UTC)


I remember that there used to be a separate article about Fudzilla. Where did it go? Was it deleted and why? Did my mind play tricks on me? Not a fan of that site. Just wondering. MadIce (talk) 18:36, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

McCain v.Obama[edit]

Wasn't the McCain campaign a good example of FUD? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:49, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Not really. There might have been some here and there, but nothing even close to the 1964 Johnson campaign. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:54, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Well, you could argue that the baseline political strategy of the Republican Party is FUD. Think about: - spreading rumors that Obama is a muslim - spreading rumors that Obama was not born in the U.S. - disinformation and fear mongering on obamacare These are prime examples of FUD. But of course, should anyone actually put them into this article, they would likely be quickly removed because of "political bias". Which pisses me off to no end, because nobody spreads as much FUD on this world than the Republican Party + friendly conservative media. And they are still getting away with it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:42, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

POV problems[edit]

As I explained in my edit comment, which the person who removed the tag ignored despite looking up the edit to see who did it to mention it by name, "This article states over and over that certain things, acts, etc. were FUDs: That's someone's opinion, not a fact, and must be cited and worded to follow NPOV." Cited means explicitly to reliable sources arguing that the example was of FUD, woded to follow NPOV means that we specifically say WHO makes the claim instead of saying the claim is true, and we also would have to include info from sources that say it isn't FUD if any exist.

This are pretty basic rules. If you aren't familiar with the concepts, see WP:RS, WP:NPOV and some of our other fundamental core values here. DreamGuy (talk) 13:46, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Regarding the real estate section, the source provided [1] (source 19 in the article) returns an Error 404, and I was unable to find the article on Google. If the article or a new source cannot be found, I propose that the real estate section be taken out, as the second reference [2] (source 20) doesn't sound like FUD to me by any stretch. I don't want to remove the section without finding a new source, but this entire section is in no way following NPOV. ..."suggest that consumers are weak, intellectually lazy and fearful" hardly seems to be a NPOV to me, but I wasn't able to see the original source, so I'm probably not getting the whole picture, which is why I'm not trying to delete this section yet. Any advice / suggestions? SudoGhost (talk) 18:27, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
Citation 22 in this section is a dead link (404 error) and citation 23 is a link to an article concerning a brainstorming session at a meeting by one association of realtors, it does not provide evidence that what was discussed was actually put into practice, thus until further citations are provided it will remain my opinion that the information in this section is insufficient to constitute encyclopaedic proof that FUD tactics are actually widely used by the real estate industry. Washuchan (talk) 10:08, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
That tag has been there for a year and a half, so I'll go ahead and comment out the section. I won't remove it outright, at least not yet, if someone can come up with reliable sources that support this or somehow find an archived version of the first reference we can see about restoring it. However, I have no problem with someone just removing it outright. - SudoGhost 10:31, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
It is traditional to move the offending section to the talk page (sometimes "quoting" or denaturing the refs, sometimes including a {{references}} section) rather than commenting it out. With it commented, only experienced editors know it was there and is not in the visible article. If moved, editors who read the talk page know it was there. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:59, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Antivirus vs. Remote-Anything[edit]

There are major problems with this section. It lacks a neutral point of view and makes unsupported claims. At least one editor has felt it should be removed entirely as "Company posted propoganda[sic]". It is not clear to me that this is company-posted nor would that make any difference to me as long as the information is basically correct. I would prefer to have any errors corrected and the claims substantiated if they are true. As it is it's not a very good example of FUD since the only evidence presented is a court case that ended in favor the supposed FUD perpetrators. Jojalozzo (talk) 17:49, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Research paper example[edit]

I removed the following paragraph from the opening of the article:

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.

Not only is it not encyclopedic, it's completely irrelevant. This isn't FUD, it's just a lie and an argument from authority. Neither one of these things makes it FUD per se. I can't foresee any (less than total) modifications to this paragraph that make it appropriate for this article, so I took it out. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Guido del Confuso (talkcontribs) 11:25, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Doubt wikilink?[edit]

Okay, what's going on with this edit war with adding and removing doubt as a wikilink? Although not happening all in a day, it's still an edit war, and frankly it's silly. I'm hoping maybe someone will come here and discuss it (and resolve it) before reverting again. What's the deal with this whole doubt v. doubt thing? - SudoGhost 02:44, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

"Absurd" per Special:Contributions/Arthur_Rubin. Make sure to look into the View History tabs. Thank you for your attention. (",) (talk) 06:20, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
The anon wants to Wikilink everything, in spite of WP:OVERLINK. In this case, fear, uncertainty, and doubt all are common words, and doubt links to an article which doesn't carry the same meaning as the common word. It seems likely that the common meaning is the intended one, making that one wrong, in addition to being an WP:OVERLINK. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 10:35, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
With respect,, WP:OVERLINK is pretty clear on what shouldn't be linked. Doubt is a word that most readers will understand, and if there are concerns that the article linked doesn't correctly explain the word as used in this article, it would only serve to confuse, not inform. Given this, do you still disagree with the removal of the wikilink? If so, why? - SudoGhost 11:21, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Origin of the term[edit]

The article states that the term FUD originated in the computer hardware industry, but I'm not so sure this is true. I've read the term (unabbreviated) in an old, not very tech-savy marketing textbook as something salespeople have to overcome. In other words, it didn't mean deliberate negative misinformation, but natural emotions that a prospect has and a salesperson tries to dispel, whether rightly or wrongly. Martijn Meijering (talk) 09:17, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

@Mmeijeri: Which book said this? It might turn out to be a useful source for the article. --Joshua Issac (talk) 19:45, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Electronic Pearl Harbor?[edit]

What does this reference mean? It doesn't link to anything, it is in quotes and included as if the general reader will know what the heck it refers to. Please either link it to some page that explains it, provide an explanation or delete it. (talk) 19:10, 28 April 2013 (UTC)

High-resolution audio formats as FUD[edit]

I removed the following section added by Apesbrain on 2013-09-12T21:47:12‎:

The "stair-stepped" output depicted here is completely fictional. Every digital audio playback device incorporates a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) whose function is to reinterpret the stored digital data points into an exact reproduction of the original analog waveform.

FUD is also one of the primary strategies in the marketing of so-called "high resolution" consumer digital audio formats, i.e. formats with data stream rates greater than compact disc. The cynical viewpoint is that FUD is being employed here to re-market to consumers the same catalog of music they originally purchased on vinyl, then on cassette, and again on compact disc or digital download. While digital audio theorem firmly supports CD's standard 16-bit word length and 44.1 kHz sample rate being able to accurately and faithfully deliver sound across the full range of human hearing both in terms of frequency and amplitude, "hi-res" proponents put forth higher sample rates and larger word lengths as "the difference between hearing and listening (emphasis added)."[1] Sony goes so far in their literature as to incorrectly say, "The higher the number of bits, the closer the sample is to the original source." In other words, if you don't use our new format you aren't really getting all of the music. Well-known musician Neil Young is championing his "Pono" audio format offering a 192 kHz sample rate and 24-bit samples justification for which is heard in the following lyric: "When you hear my song now, you only get five percent.".[2] There is no scientific evidence, nor controlled listening test finding, that supports these hi-res alternatives performing any differently given the same audio source and proper mastering technique than standard CD-Audio.[3] Reports to the contrary—often printed in enthusiast blogs and advertiser-supported hobbyist media—are misguided or based on flawed listening trials where a different master was used for the hi-res sample or expectational bias was not properly designed out of the testing methodology.

  1. ^ "What is High-Resolution Audio?"
  2. ^ Lyric from the song "Driftin' Back" on the 2012 album Psychedelic Pill by Neil Young and Crazy Horse.
  3. ^ Audibility of a CD-Standard A/DA/A Loop Inserted into High-Resolution Audio Playback. Audio Engineering Society, September 2007.

I don't think this section maintains a neutral point of view and it needs more work before it could be included in the article (if this is a usable example of FUD at all). Also, it contains several misleading comparisions and false statements. --Matthiaspaul (talk) 17:29, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

I am going to undo your removal of my contribution to this article. I'm not interested in an edit war with you but your deletion of my content on the bases you've so far described is unjustified. You owe the community a more substantial argument in opposition to what I have posted. It is not POV when there are established scientific theorems and experimental results from reputable organizations that support the statements I've made (and none to the contrary). These sources have been linked or referenced in my content. In fairness I ask that you identify any misleading comparisons or false statements you believe that I've made and explain why you think they are misleading or false so that I and others can investigate the validity of your claims. I believe that this is a valid contemporary example of FUD as it is quickly becoming a wide-spread, industry attempt -- based upon a pseudo-scientific argument that the current technology for this application is somehow lacking or a step backward -- to goad consumers into purchasing a replacement product offering in itself no real improvement. I hope that other watchers of this page will add their thoughts below on whether this is a usable example of FUD.
It's too easy to do as you appear to have done and accept this promise of "more musical" performance based only on face value; that's the true insidiousness of this particular FUD. Just look at the illustration the industry puts forth: of course the smaller "stair-steps" must sound better than the larger ones. The problem with this analysis is that this is not at all the way digital signal recording and reproduction actually works. You'd know this if you'd studied digital audio theory or ever recorded an analog music source to digital and looked at the resulting waveform as I have done. (Can you imagine how bad it would actually sound if the industry's portrayal of the "CD-Audio" square wave output were in fact true?) Please take a few minutes to read the articles and references to which I've linked. You'll learn about the scientific basis -- rooted in Nyquist's well-established theorem -- for the CD-Audio standard being able to fully and accurately reproduce all musical frequencies up to 20 kHz, the limit of human hearing. You'll also learn that CD-Audio can represent 96 dB or more of dynamic range -- equivalent to the difference between the background noise of a quiet library reading room and the threshold of pain -- far wider than what is necessary to capture both the quietest and loudest sounds of any live or studio performance.
Before you jump to revert your edit, please take the time to let the community know here on this Talk page what faults you find with the sources I've cited or where you see errors in my application of those theorem and study results to my contribution to this article. Thanks. Apesbrain (talk) 12:59, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
@Arthur Rubin, I honestly don't understand what you mean by "Please _justify_ (not just state that there is a relationship) on talk" and as I said I'm not interested in spending my time in an edit war over this. The word "relationship" does not appear in my original copy or in my commentary on Talk. If you've deleted my copy because you believe it's not a good example of FUD, then that's an opinion and reasonable people can agree to disagree. If you've deleted my copy because you don't understand or don't believe the science, then you've done the community a disservice. Apesbrain (talk) 18:50, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
It's not an example of FUD, as far as I can tell. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 06:30, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Genetically modified food[edit]

An editor or editors recently added a passage, and I've removed it for now, and let's talk about this. Here's the passage:

The organic and natural food industry, as well as various groups such as Greenpeace, engage in similar efforts against genetically modified crops and modern agricultural practices; despite widespread scientific consensus that genetically modified crops are no more dangerous than any other type of crop (and indeed, have been far more thoroughly tested for safety than non-GM crops, which mostly have no safety testing done on them at all), there is widespread concern over the safety of genetically modified organisms.[1][2][3] By presenting traditional agriculture and genetically modified food as unsafe and less nutritious, organic farmers can charge considerably higher prices for their own products, which are much more expensive to produce and would not otherwise be economically viable.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10]
  1. ^ American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Board of Directors (2012). Legally Mandating GM Food Labels Could Mislead and Falsely Alarm Consumers
  2. ^ Ronald, Pamela (2011). "Plant Genetics, Sustainable Agriculture and Global Food Security". Genetics. 188 (1): 11–20.
  3. ^ Bett, Charles (August 2010). "Perspectives of gatekeepers in the Kenyan food industry towards genetically modified food". Food Policy. 35 (4): 332–340. doi:10.1016/j.foodpol.2010.01.003. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  4. ^ Blair, Robert. (2012). Organic Production and Food Quality: A Down to Earth Analysis. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. ISBN 978-0-8138-1217-5
  5. ^ Schuldt, J.P. and Schwarz, N. (2010). The “organic” path to obesity? Organic claims influence calorie judgments and exercise recommendations. Judgment and Decision Making 5: 144–150.
  6. ^ Magkos F et al (2006) Organic food: buying more safety or just peace of mind? A critical review of the literature Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 46(1): 23–56 | pmid=16403682
  7. ^ Smith-Spangler, C (September 4, 2012). "Are organic foods safer or healthier than conventional alternatives?: a systematic review". Annals of Internal Medicine. 157 (5): 348–366. PMID 22944875. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  8. ^ Dangour AD et al (2009) Nutritional quality of organic foods: a systematic review The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 92(1):203–210
  9. ^ Canavari, M., Asioli, D., Bendini, A., Cantore, N., Gallina Toschi, T., Spiller, A., Obermowe, T., Buchecker, K. and Lohmann, M. (2009). Summary report on sensory-related socio-economic and sensory science literature about organic food products
  10. ^ Winter, Carl K. (November 2006). "Organic Foods". Journal of Food Science. 71 (9): R117–R124. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3841.2006.00196.x. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)

I'm not too sure about this, for a number of reasons. I'm not interested in whether genetically modified food is OK or not, but rather whether there's an active FUD campaign going on here. Whether organic food is a scam or whatever is also not on the table. In looking at this, we also want to keep in mind that there's not correspondence between "organic" and "genetically modified", since "genetically modified" is only a subset of what "organic" is not -- it's more about not using pesticides and so forth.

I'm not too keen in general in using current campaigns as examples. They're liable to be contentious. Historical examples are better, I think. I'd also be leery of using this as an example unless we can show that it's clearly an FUD campaign and that can't really be refuted. So I'm leery of this being kind of original research.

Also, for reasons unrelated to genetically modified food, Monsanto scares the bejesus of people, and since they're associated with it it's maybe kind of natural that people'd be terrified. It's not necessarily the result of FUD campaign. Herostratus (talk) 02:36, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

I didn't add this - a user named User:Titanium Dragon took a drive-by through the organic food and some GMO articles a few days ago, and added that text here and some other stuff. The drive-by raised my eyebrows, and I was curious if TD would come back through and stay a while. He/she has not, so I am now commenting. I think TD had an interesting point, that anti-GMO forces have a done a great job - for many years (not a recent thing at all!) - of running a FUD campaign with respect to the safety of eating currently marketed food from GMOs. (Consumers are afraid, but there is actually scientific consensus that currently marketed food is safe - this was the subject of a recent RfC which you can read here. And there are tons and tons of scary, scary sites about GMOs) I had some concern that the content produced by TD and that you reverted, User:Herostratus, might be OR, but I checked out the sources and it seems well-supported. So I think an unreversion is reasonable. Jytdog (talk) 01:15, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough. I'm not really up on this but that seems reasonable. What I'd like to look for is support for the statement "The organic and natural food industry, as well as various groups such as Greenpeace, engage in similar efforts against genetically modified crops and modern agricultural practices". That passage is not so good, since it conflates two different things ("genetically modified crops" and "modern agricultural practices" which is pretty broad). That's OK as long as we remove (or ref) that last clause. We need refs for that and separate refs for the rest of passage ("genetically modified crops are no more dangerous than any other type of crop") and so on, which is a different thing. These refs need to be placed at the end of the first sentence to clarify this.
Right now there are three refs (in this first part):
  • The AAAS article. This article does speak to the statement "The organic and natural food industry, as well as various groups such as Greenpeace, engage in similar efforts against genetically modified crops and modern agricultural practices". Here's the operative passage: "Legally mandating labels on GM foods could therefore 'mislead and falsely alarm consumers'" and more importantly "Several current efforts to require labeling of GM foods are not being driven by any credible scientific evidence that these foods are dangerous, AAAS said. Rather, GM labeling initiatives are being advanced by 'the persistent perception that such foods are somehow "unnatural"' as well as efforts to gain competitive advantages within the marketplace, and the false belief that GM crops are untested." There's no mention of Greenpeace, and they mention a "persistent perception" and a "false belief" without specifying their source (BTW the persistent perception is accurate since using a gene gun and so forth is unnatural, which is not to say there's anything wrong with it), but they do mention efforts to gain competitive advantages within the marketplace. This passage is the only one in the three refs which at all support the first sentence, and that very obliquely. I guess it's possible to infer from that passage that there's a FUD and that Big Organic is behind it, but relying on inference is iffy.
  • The Plant Genetics article. Based on the extensive abstract, this looks to be a good ref for "genetically modified crops are no more dangerous than any other type of crop" but useless for "The organic and natural food industry, as well as various groups such as Greenpeace, engage in similar efforts against genetically modified crops" since it doesn't mention opposition at all.
  • The Science Direct article. Based on the brief abstract, this seems a poor ref for the statement "The organic and natural food industry, as well as various groups such as Greenpeace, engage in similar efforts against genetically modified crops". The gist of the abstract is along the lines of " Respondents, mostly from senior management, were well educated and had a good knowledge of biotechnology... Respondents generally appreciated the benefits of biotechnology, but had concerns about the environment, although few people considered GM food harmful to human or animal health... Most respondents do not like the idea of labeling GM food" and I don't see the applicability here. It shows that if there is a FUD campaign it's not gaining much traction with this audience. The article itself may have lots of material on a FUD campaign but I doubt it given the focus of the article.
Bottom line, I wouldn't be at all shocked or even surprised if Big Organic was running a FUD, but I'm not willing to assume it, and none of these references show that or even come close to convincing me of that.
I'm not going to look at the second part of the passage, "By presenting traditional agriculture and genetically modified food as unsafe and less nutritious, organic farmers can charge considerably higher prices for their own products, which are much more expensive to produce and would not otherwise be economically viable, right now. That's a mouthful, and again there's a lot mixed in there. Just looking at titles, I'd be surprised if articles such as "Are organic foods safer or healthier than conventional alternatives?: a systematic review" have much to say about FUD campaigns rather than the relative desirability of organic vs normal foods, which is a different matter. But we can look at them. Herostratus (talk) 02:52, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
Nice analysis! I also struggled with some of what TD wrote as it was mighty strident, but there is a core of something useful and NPOV there that I would like to try to craft, and will provide a draft of here. ( btw, I don't know that it is fair to characterize the proponents of the FUD as corporate (as in "Big Organic") but there are plenty of nonprofits thriving on anti-GMO FUD.) I want to be very careful and solid on this, so I appreciate your care, and will be happy to work with you. I will not get back on this tonight, tho. Thanks for talking! Jytdog (talk) 02:59, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
Sure, no hurry. Yes I think we're basically on the same page here. Herostratus (talk) 03:03, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
Hello! I'm the user in question who did a bit of a drive by, mostly because I noticed a few pages weren't really linked together, and it kind of upscaled from there. Now, I think, reading the above, the question is mostly "do these sources properly describe this as a FUD campaign, and if not, does including it on the FUD page count as OR?" I think this is a reasonable question to be asking. As for the idea that it is or isn't corporate... the campaign is more complicated than that. There are a number of independent interests involved, and it isn't just one group doing it. You've got groups like the [Club] who spread misinformation, but aren't actively working to profit off of it. You have groups associated with ecoterrorism like [[3]] [the same], and who strongly oppose Monsanto and other corporations, as well as gene patents and suchlike. You've got groups like the [Farming Research Foundation] and [Northeast Organic Farming Organization], which have more obvious directly economic interests. And of course there's the whole GM labelling movement, which is pushed for and funded by various organic interests. For instance, [on I-522] was funded by [Bronner's Magic Soap], an organic soap manufacturer, the Center for Food Safety, the Organic Consumer Fund, Presence Marketing, and a large number of organics foods companies, and was attacked by those opposed as scaremongering (I-522 was the Washington equivalent of California Proposition 37, which mandated the labelling of GM foods).
A few sources regarding FUD and the GM labelling stuff: [37 stuff from biotech-now], [criticism of a similar act in Congress], [article on the same subject from the same source which might be better for such purposes]. Others talk about scaremongering, such as [article], and other [of such].
It is very common for organic foods to be advertised as being healthier, but that isn't really the same thing as FUDing (though it can be seen as such, I suppose, like labeling a product as being 100% asbestos free when all such products are free of asbestos). But pretty much all food is claimed to be healthy these days, even when it, well, isn't, because that helps sell it.
It is pretty clear that there is a FUD campaign going on. It is fairly organized - they have put together several bills and ballot measures, raised hundreds of millions of dollars in their campaigns, run ads in many major newspapers (such as the New York Times), have manipulated the press (one of the above links talks about a claimed link between GM foods and cancer which the scientist in question prohibited people from asking others about the science if they wanted early access), and succeeded at getting GMOs labelled in Europe. Not all of it is being done for profit, but visit any organic food site and it will talk about how much healthier their [[4]], chemical free food is. Titanium Dragon (talk) 04:47, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
More specifically, what, exactly, would you like to see in terms of supporting articles regarding FUD? I am happy to go find sources. It is a big wide world out there, and the above was just from a short bit of Google-fu. I can dig up more sources (or better ones, if you don't like the above). I'll look for a good source on the pricing thing. Titanium Dragon (talk) 05:02, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
is one article about pricing, but it isn't a great source. is another. It is talking about a book (Is It Organic?) which I do not have access to, but which might or might not be a good resource. article is by an MD talking about organic food being a scam on the consumer. another describing it as pseudoscience. Titanium Dragon (talk) 07:22, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
If we're going to go with this, I think it needs to be construed narrowly, because I gather that truth is a defense: the article lede says "FUD is... disseminating negative and dubious or false information" (emphasis added). For instance, in the 1950's SANE let a campaign to eliminate atmospheric nuclear testing, largely by playing on fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the practice of introducing large amounts of long-lived radioisotopes into the environment. But they were right. There was no dubious or false information there: it was rational to have fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the practice, and irrational not to. So I wouldn't include the SANE campaign under FUD, and so on.
It's rational to have fear, uncertainty, and doubt about certain practices of Big Ag. Of course Big Ag provides many benefits. Atmospheric nuclear testing does too (it's a cheap and spectacular way to demonstrate that our bombs work, which has deterrent effect). For any activity, pointing out the how great the benefits are is an argument for continuing the activity in spite of downsides, but it doesn't refute the existence of downsides. "Modern agricultural practice" is a very broad area that includes a lot of great stuff (cheap food and no more famines for instance) and some that's not so great. There're worries about the overall ecology (see Pollinator decline for instance) and there's worry about a few large companies controlling the food supply though patents and other practices, and so forth. Are these worries unwarranted to the extent that it's irrational to have fear, uncertainty, and doubt about modern agricultural practice generally? Hmmmm. Maybe. But it'd be hard to prove incontrovertibly, I think, and I'd rather not see contentious examples introduced into the article.
So I'd think we'd want to stick to GMOs specifically. To the extent that fear, uncertainty, and doubt about GMOs are a subset of fear, uncertainty, and doubt about Big Ag generally or are based on concerns over the dynamics of the overall system (intellectual property issues for instance), they're maybe at least arguably reasonable. I think that narrow assertions such as "GMOs might endanger your personal health if you ingest them, moreso than non-GMOs, after controlling for other factors such as pesticides" would be clearly false or at least dubious. So would "GMOs are subject to more lax inspection than non-GMOs and so there are more worms in them" and so on and so forth. If we can show a FUD campaign based on assertions like that, we're probably good to go. But, while Genetically modified food controversies is kind of above my pay grade, it looks like most of the objections are more about general contamination of the food supply and stuff like that, which are complicated and probably hard to resoundingly demonstrate as being based on "dubious or false information". So I'm still skeptical that this would not be a contentious addition. Herostratus (talk) 05:10, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

───────────────────────── You have been doing some research! I agree that it needs to be carefully tailored, but i think you go too far... Responses. One of the fundamental aspects of FUD against GMOs, is the notion that they are dangerous for you to eat. Anti-GMO activists pound away on this, directly and indirectly. The NonGMO project for example has built a whole business model on helping companies assure consumers that there is no GMO in their products - they play here on two levels a) that consumers are afraid and b) that companies are afraid. But as the scientific consensus is, that marketed GM food is safe - concerns about health are based on dubious and false information so this is pure FUD. Likewise the fear about patents. What exactly is the concern there? If you dig down, it all evaporates. (companies use patents to make money by excluding competitors from being able to make/use/sell the patented item, and they have that right for a limited amount of time. Companies want to make money -- to do that they need people to buy their products; if they price them too high, no one will buy them. Monsanto and other patentees of seed have need to carefully price their patented seed so that farmers - who themselves earn thin margins and need to think carefully about farming systems they use - will buy their seed as opposed to others') But you will hear crazy talk about Monsanto "controlling the food supply. FUD, I think. With respect to bees, there was a lot of fuss back in 1999/2000 that Bt might be responsible based on a single, preliminary study; a huge coordinated study designed to address the issue was published in 2001 and shot that down. Ever since then, bringing that up is FUD too. This is a key tactic of the anti-GMO folks that has really interfered with the actual science -- any paper, however preliminary, that could be used to wave at lawmakers to justify changes in policy, is taken up and trumpeted way way beyond what the data can bear - great article on that was published in Nature in 2009 - Emily Waltz for Nature News. September 2, 2009 GM crops: Battlefield Nature 461, 27-32 (2009). Jytdog (talk) 11:23, 14 October 2013 (UTC) (added article citation i left out Jytdog (talk) 12:44, 14 October 2013 (UTC))

All examples of FUD are going to be controversial, because all FUD is done by people to promote an agenda. Heck, the article lists the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which was quite controversial. Ultimately, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that GMOs are any more dangerous than any other kind of food. Pollenator decline, for instance, is known to have nothing to do with GMOs. Remember, FUD is about people intentionally spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt; it isn't about merely people being paranoid, but active campaigns to disingenuously spread FUD. Some other examples include the anti-vaccination movement, where FUD was spread in order to further a lawsuit, and FUD about socialized healthcare and "death panels". The idea that GMOs can even contaminate the food supply is itself an example of FUD; all scientific data shows them to be safe, and indeed, they're safer than most food. Remember, almost no food has ever been tested for inherent toxicity. GMOs are pretty much the only ones which HAVE been. Thus, all claims that GMOs "contaminate the food supply", "damage the environment", "are unhealthy", "are tasteless", ect. are all examples of FUD, because it is known to simply be false - tests have been done. The very name "frankenfood" is an obvious example of FUD.

Incidentally, SANE probably constitutes FUD; there is actually an enormous about of FUD that goes on about nuclear stuff and radiation, and the dangers of radiation have been grossly exaggerated by anti-nuclear advocates. It isn't that radiation isn't bad for you in quantity, but the dangers of it have been greatly exaggerated in order to oppose nuclear proliferation and nuclear power. Everyone is bombarded with radiation constantly, after all, and the amount of extra radiation you get from atmospheric testing is very minimal unless you are in the immediate vicinity. People live in Nagasaki, after all, and have for decades. Titanium Dragon (talk) 12:12, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

Erm. Pretty sure you're wrong about Colony collapse disorder, at least according to the second paragraph of that article. I guess we have a different take on things generally. While it is is true that dangers of radiation are exaggerated for effect sometimes, that doesn't mean that there's nothing to it either, and so on.
Anyway, the bottom line for me is, this is outside my normal area of interest and expertise, so I'd ask others to help work this out. For my part, based on what I know at this point, I don't object to the GMO - FUD thing provided we stick to stuff that's pretty incontrovertibly false, such as GMOs being actually harmful to ingest. Also, it'd be great to get neutral notable refs for this, like Time and the LA Times and whatever. Herostratus (talk) 19:56, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
Actually, when I stumbled upon that section a couple of days ago, I was tempted to remove it myself for two reasons (but only now find the time to write down my reasoning, which happens to be mostly in line with Herostratus' position, as I understand it):
1) In my perhaps somewhat more traditional understanding of FUD of an unfair business tactic in the hard- and software industry, the described scenario (if true) wouldn't be an example of FUD, at least not a clear one. The creation of fears and doubts (as in topics like genetically modified food, nuclear power generation, deep water welling, fracking, various diseases etc. - just to name a few) isn't FUD, because the risks are real and some of the thinkable worst-case scenarios could have a very serious impact on life, economy and society. In some cases, the potential dangers for human-kind may be disastrous and sometimes irreversible, so that it may be wise to not take the risk even if the probability of a worst-case scenario becoming truth were small (Chernobyl and Fukushima are just two of many more examples). Teaching people about those risks is not FUD, but an act of education, so that people can make informed, responsible and conscientious decisions (for themselves and others), if it is worth taking a risk or not.
As I understand the term, something becomes FUD, when the fears, uncertainties and doubts raised by someone are not based on real risks and dangers, but on deliberately created misinformation or faked facts, typically "made up" out of low or egoistic motives (like financial incentives), and when people are fooled and are directly or indirectly pushed into making certain decisions without being aware of the truth.
2) The second reason why I was tempted to remove this example was that I didn't found it to be written from a neutral point of view (by wording and by selection of references) - so much that I found it to be on the borderline of being a possible example of a pro-genetically-manipulated-food campaign in itself. (I don't say, this is the case, but it smelled fishy to me.)
Therefore I opt for not putting this back into the article.
--Matthiaspaul (talk) 16:17, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
Hi User:Matthiaspaul thanks for talking! First, there is a scientific consensus that currently marketed food from GMOs is as safe as food from conventional sources. This is a fact. (see for example this. There are risks from GMOs, but food safety is not one of them (any more than from conventional food). That is a really foundational thing. If you read the anti-GMO literature, you will find that over and over they focus on food from GMOs being definitely and horribly risky (big ugly pictures of rats with cancer, that sort of thing. I think it is legit to say there is a FUD campaign and others do too -- see for example this article from Slate. I agree that if we put it back, it needs to be written more NPOV, for sure! Jytdog (talk) 16:45, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
Jytdog, what would you suggest as far as an NPOV wording goes? Titanium Dragon (talk) 23:45, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

Alternate term?[edit]

In some old books (1900s) I've seen the term "gloom department" used to describe the part of the firm in question that created this kind of matter for public condumption. (talk) 00:55, 20 November 2013 (UTC), Google Books confirms this is the case:
There's also an article from 1901 where a seemly fictional publisher[see note below] set up a "Gloom Department" that handled Romance fiction. It's not clear if this "Gloom Department" was a play on the definition of what we now know as "Fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD)". It may well be - with a romance twist or if the style of romance published was of the missed connection variety or worse. Google Books has two scans of this article:
  • "The Anonymity Business". The Academy: A Weekly Review of Literature and Life. 61 (1529): 157. August 24, 1901.
  • "The Anonymity Business". The Academy: A Weekly Review of Literature and Life. 61 (1529): 157. August 24, 1901.
  • note: I called it a "seemly fictional publisher" as the article may be a humor piece and the use of "Gloom Department" as the name for their romance line was part of the humor. The article claims that both Andrew Lang and S. R. Crockett were pseudonyms
"Gloom Department" does not appear in the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (1993 edition) nor at
It's a bit curious the phrase, as a form of FUD, only seems to appear in children's literature. --Marc Kupper|talk 22:07, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

FUD definition considered inadequate[edit]

I do not think the definition of FUD is adequate. I understand FUD to be "calling into question the capabilities of a lesser-known competitor". It is a marketing technique, used by an established competitor against a competitor who is less established in the field under discussion. The example is "You know we can do that--we've been doing it for years. What makes you think they can do it? What if they can't? Can you take the risk?" IBM was famous for this in the 1970s... the idea was, if you cause your employer to buy from someone other than the world-famous established technology leader (IBM), and there are problems, you personally will be blamed for choosing an incompetent vendor, and probably fired--why risk your job?

This can be applied to politics as well as business. I suppose it can be applied to any field with marketing and competitors.

What do you think? Should I edit the article that way? LeeLance (talk) 22:34, 3 March 2016 (UTC)

1 - I think the article already makes this pretty clear, but by all means improve it if you can.
2 - On a Talk page it's usual to pop your comments down the bottom, creating a new section heading.
Snori (talk) 04:11, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
Just be sure that any new material is properly verifiable, preferably with references to reliable sources. The level of referencing is good now; please follow suit. Jeh (talk) 07:01, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

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Requested move 5 March 2019[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved as proposed. The majority of commenters are in favour of using the serial comma. The opposers claim that this is an ENGVAR issue and the serial comma is not used outside of American English, but this claim is not spelled out at WP:ENGVAR, nor is there evidence of us resolving this by consensus anywhere. Furthermore, the article appears to use American English (destablize, materialize, recognize), so even if this were a regional issue, it would not apply here. (closed by non-admin page mover) Bradv🍁 04:38, 25 March 2019 (UTC)

Fear, uncertainty and doubtFear, uncertainty, and doubt – Per previous discussion, the serial comma is used in genesis of this term. It follows that the article would have the same punctuation. There was no widespread discussion about moving this page in the past (at least, none that I could easily find) and the original naming seems to have been done by chance.  - PaulT+/C 06:30, 5 March 2019 (UTC)--Relisting. B dash (talk) 13:52, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

  • Support because without the series comma, I have uncertainty and doubt as to whether or not the title is actually a series of 3 distinct things or not. Rreagan007 (talk) 08:19, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
    • You could essentially say that about any group of three or more things. Which implies that non-usage of the serial comma is always wrong. It clearly is not. I would certainly not look at this phrase and have any doubt whatsoever that it was referring to three separate things. In fact, I wonder why on earth anyone would. -- Necrothesp (talk) 08:38, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. WP:ENGVAR issue. The serial comma is very common in American English, but not at all common in British English. So per WP:RETAIN it should be retained. -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:23, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Actually, I don't think it's especially common in any variety of British English. As usual, Oxford likes to be different! -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:28, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
  • At any rate, WP:ENGVAR leaves punctuation to a different part of the page, and MOS:SERIAL doesn't seem to contemplate that this is a WP:RETAIN issue. MOS:SERIAL says to do whichever, but make the meaning clear. I don't find the meaning particularly unclear without the comma in this instance (although I would use it 100% of the time in my own writing), so weak oppose. Dekimasuよ! 05:46, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support as nominator. Here are some additional arguments and rebuttals that I did not expand on in the original move rationale. The first use of the full term in the actual prose (with the "and" conjunction - the very first use was a simple list with no conjunction i.e. "fear, uncertanty, doubt") on this page had the serial comma, so if WP:RETAIN applies then I argue that should be the style that is used.
    Furthermore, both early references from the 1920s have the serial comma (emphasis added):
  • "Suspicion has no place in our interchanges; it is a shield for ignorance, a sign of fear, uncertainty, and doubt." Caesar Augustus Yarbrough, The Roman Catholic Church Challenged, p. 75. The Patriotic Societies of Macon, 1920.
  • "Again he was caught in a tempest of fear, uncertainty, and doubt." Monica Mary Gardner, The Patriot Novelist of Poland, Henryk Sienkiewicz, p. 71. J. M. Dent; E. P. Dutton & Co, 1926.
According to the latest article text (in fairness, I have not verified if the quoted references are accurate), both use the serial comma. So again I argue, if WP:ENGVAR applies, the serial comma should be used on this page as well. It does look like the later examples in the 60s and 70s are mixed between both uses with and without the serial comma, but those were decades after the first examples, which only used the serial comma.
I believe these arguments are enough to rebut the above !vote discussion between Necrothesp and Dekimasu, but I'm interested in hearing additional opinions and arguments about it. - PaulT+/C 18:10, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
  • However, the title has always been as it is now. So one could in fact argue that the first line is what should be altered. I don't think you can use references from the 1920s (when English usage was very different) as a guide to usage today. -- Necrothesp (talk) 08:44, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support – the serial comma seems important here. Dicklyon (talk) 03:44, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as appears to be an ENGVAR issue - Not sure if it's an American issue tho as various websites seem to suggest a comma before and is fine in certain ways, Dunno but like I said seems to be an ENGVAR issue. –Davey2010Talk 12:54, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
    The article is in American English, and the serial/Oxford/Harvard comma is more common in American English, and the article originally used the comma (here it was changed as "fixing a typo" when the page was titled FUD), as did the original sources. So if it's an Engvar or Retain issue, that would favor using the comma, no? Dicklyon (talk) 03:15, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support because the comma was used at the creation of the phrase. Paintspot Infez (talk) 00:55, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support—it is not a trans-Atlantic issue. Most writers don't use serial commas, but many editorial specialists advise they always be used: less trouble for readers, and less for writers. It is clearer with the second comma, in my view. Tony (talk) 04:53, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Serial commas should generally be used in encyclopedic writing, for the increase in clarity. It has nothing to do with US or UK English (serial commas are nicknamed both "Oxford commas" and "Harvard commas", because they characterize an academic not breezy writing style; guess which one WP uses?). "Most writers don't use serial commas" because most writers are unskilled at communicating, lazy as hell, and quite poor at thinking through all possible interpretations (especially by children, ESL learners, and people unfamiliar with the particular topic), and have been primarily exposed to news journalism as their source of written English (probably 95% of what they read, other than the advertising all around us). Both news style and marketing style (derived from news style) are comma-hostile, for expediency reasons. But Wikipedia is not written in news style as a matter of policy. It literally does not matter the slightest that journalists prefer to avoid serial commas, since WP isn't written by them or in imitation of them.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  21:21, 16 March 2019 (UTC)
    • A pretty insulting comment. I am certainly not "unskilled at communicating, lazy as hell, and quite poor at thinking through all possible interpretations", but I would not use a serial comma unless the meaning really was unclear. Get off your high horse please. It is a simple fact that serial commas are not usually used in British English (apart from Oxford English; note that Oxford is not the only university in the UK!) and are far more commonly used in American English. -- Necrothesp (talk) 11:22, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.