It is the intention of this entry to try and ascertain what the correct definition of FUD is. It is evident that this term is thrown around much as of late and is a ‘catch all’ for many to group people that they do not want to deal with. So, let’s start by getting the “official” definition of FUD. No, we are not going to an Encyclopedia or dictionary…we’ll go to the place where the community defines exactly what the definition is…Wikipedia. According the the Wikipedia definition, FUD was first defined as “any kind of disinformation used as a competitive weapon.” FUD then was applied to IBM and business practices. Currently, it has become trendy to apply it to individuals. Later in the Wikipedia article, it goes on to state:
“FUD can be used to offhandedly ‘smear’ criticism or legitimate debate, even in cases where the allegations are without merit or are merely implied; this tactic is often used in cases where the initial publicity surrounding claims of FUD is likely to vastly overshadow any subsequent retraction. Such an arbitrary usage is a general type of logical fallacy known as Ad hominem circumstantial“
It is my opinion that this application of logical fallacy has replaced the actual definition of FUD in today’s society. Today, people who see opinions and ideals other than their own gaining a public voice will immediately sling accusations of FUD toward the source…more often than not attacking the person or public voice that publishes them. The gradual dilution of the actual meaning of FUD is part of the great divide that is prevalent in today’s online world.