Fear Uncertainty and Doubt

What Does Fear Uncertainty and Doubt Mean?

Fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) is a technique used in business that attempts to create a negative impression and opinion of a competing organization or individual.


Fear, uncertainty and doubt attempts to persuade current and prospective customers of the superiority of a product by promoting false, ambiguous and unverified claims about a similar product or service offered by another organization. The FUD tactic has appeared frequently in tech as a result of the competitive nature of the industry and the similarity between products.

Techopedia Explains Fear Uncertainty and Doubt

Fear, uncertainty and doubt is primarily implemented as strategic process undertaken by the sales and marketing department to create a bad impression of a competitor’s products and services. FUD is considered an unethical business practice and is mostly practiced by established businesses that are aiming to retain their customers.

For example, in 2004 Microsoft got itself into trouble with a U.K. advertising standards body for claiming that the Windows OS was much cheaper than Linux. The Advertising Standards Authority asked Microsoft to amend the ads, asserting that Microsoft had not made a fair and accurate claim because of the hardware used to run the comparison.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.