FUD, a term made popular several years ago, attributed to offensive use of marketing and public relations hype by tech companies (okay, it was Microsoft) to defend territory that it had yet to occupy. In recent years the media have taken to exposing themselves as tools of politicians and marketing institutions in the broader context of culture in which we are all exposed.
I am sure that it is racheted up with every generation that we are encouraged to shield ourselves further from all things that are not us. Whether it is dirt, germs, fellow humans, countries, environrment, thought, or religion we are barraged with more and more warnings about the dangers that lurk in the shadows of things that we do not know.
It is a sad state of life that those in positions of influence (media, advertising, politics) have learned to leverage these fears to coerce us to make unknowingly irrational decisions appear rational. The worst outcome of succumbing to these influences is the continued manipulation of our decisions through the mistrust of all those.
Do not talk to strangers; do not touch that; do not eat that; do not go there. The world is a dangerous place, you’d best just stay inside your padded room.
And, oh, by the way, buy our products and buy our rhetoric because they they will protect you from dangers from which you are not even aware!