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Old 04-23-2019, 09:08 AM
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Cases where a populace has panicked


Looking through the thread on social media lockdowns led me to wonder if the general population is that easily panicked. Endless movies have shown the government keeping some terrible news (Killer asteroids, imminent invasions, etc) from the people in order to preserve peace.

To me, withholding information pisses me off more than anything and I'd resent the government more for doing so. Are people that easily led to stampede like nervous cattle at the first whiff of trouble? I'd like to believe not, but what instances IRL have proven this to be a prudent course of action?
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:41 AM
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Look up ‘what’s app murders’ in India. (Sorry, I have shit luck making links. But this is easy to find!)

Oh, it’s also happening in South America, using the same app.

In these countries, for many, it may be the only social media they use.

More shameful, the app makers/owners refuse to reveal the initiator to law enforcement, so these nations can’t act against the perpetrators. (They do however cooperate, when pressed, with western law enforcement.)

Last edited by elbows; 04-23-2019 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:28 AM
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Americans went absolutely nuts after Pearl Harbor. Everything that you'd think was only possible in today's social media world happened then.

Rumors flew up and down the west coast. The government was forced to test and issue official denials against widespread rumors that Japanese farmers in California were poisoning their vegetables. Another test went out because of rumors Japanese saboteurs were adding glass to canned goods. Farther east reports of sabotage by Germans and Italians flooded civilian defense officials. Mayor Kelly of Chicago expected the water supply to be poisoned. Vigilante squads popped up across the country. Christmas was a time of fear. "The pagan enemy will not respect our most important religious festival," warned one newspaper. A cone-shaped Christmas tree light manufactured in Asia was really a time bomb, said another.

Those are all examples just from two pages in The Darkest Year: The American Home Front 1941-1942, by William K. Klingaman. I'm up to page 140 and the entire book thus far is one endless report of panic and suspicion and fury without any good immediate target. From today's perspective, the idea that Japanese bombers would fly over the Midwest is utterly ludicrous. But that's presentism. At the time they knew nothing about enemy capabilities and so feared every possibility they could imagine. Since you can't protect against everything at once, especially imaginary things, they lashed out futilely at innocents and made their own and everybody else's lives miserable.

Americans also did this during World War I and the Cold War and after 9/11. I'm sure similar stories can told be about every other country throughout history. Populations will surely, absolutely, inevitably panic. Whether that's an excuse to withhold bad news is a different question and depends entirely on the particular circumstances, though. No general answer is possible.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:18 AM
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I guess Exapno Mapcase maybe had a different interpretation of public panic than I did after reading the OP. If there is a killer asteroid or imminent alien invasion, I would expect PANIC. Ya know, widespread riots and lawlessness, regular folks hunkered down in their houses gripping their firearms and crying, martial law declared. I am not aware of that happening in US history.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:23 AM
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I don’t believe the OP specified ‘in US history’, or even in the US.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:29 AM
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Someone is bound to bring up the War of the Worlds Broadcast, with Orson Welles. Certainly there was some over-reaction, but the rumors of widespread panic are apparently unfounded.

https://slate.com/culture/2013/10/or...-hysteria.html
The supposed panic was so tiny as to be practically immeasurable on the night of the broadcast. Despite repeated assertions to the contrary in the PBS and NPR programs, almost nobody was fooled by Welles’ broadcast.

How did the story of panicked listeners begin? Blame America’s newspapers. Radio had siphoned off advertising revenue from print during the Depression, badly damaging the newspaper industry. So the papers seized the opportunity presented by Welles’ program to discredit radio as a source of news. The newspaper industry sensationalized the panic to prove to advertisers, and regulators, that radio management was irresponsible and not to be trusted.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:54 AM
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Two worlds: Satanic panic.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:56 AM
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I don’t believe the OP specified ‘in US history’, or even in the US.
Good point. I should have made that more clear. I only mentioned "US" because I am not confident enough in my understanding of world history to make a comment on it.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:25 PM
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Would the Y2K panic qualify?

Hundreds of folks thought the world would end. Millions of dollars were spent on renovating/checking computer equipment to ensure it wouldn't stop working.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:35 PM
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Those are all examples just from two pages in The Darkest Year: The American Home Front 1941-1942, by William K. Klingaman.
And you didn't even mention one of the most famous episodes: the Battle of Los Angeles.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:38 PM
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Would the Y2K panic qualify?

Hundreds of folks thought the world would end. Millions of dollars were spent on renovating/checking computer equipment to ensure it wouldn't stop working.
Based on your description, I'd say no, it does not qualify. Every day you can probably find hundreds of folks who think the world is about to end. And I suspect that it was more like billions of dollars spent to fix the Y2K bug, and that was not a panic; it was a necessary effort.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:49 PM
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And you didn't even mention one of the most famous episodes: the Battle of Los Angeles.
OK, this is interesting. Before I clicked on your link I thought you were jokingly referring to the 2011 movie Battle: Los Angeles. And now, upon reading my own link, I discovered that that movie was in fact based on that historical incident.
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:53 PM
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Would the Y2K panic qualify?

Hundreds of folks thought the world would end. Millions of dollars were spent on renovating/checking computer equipment to ensure it wouldn't stop working.
Computer programs wouldn't have stopped working, but they wouldn't have worked accurately. Code relying on two digit years had to be updated. It wasn't a panic. It was plain business sense.
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Old 04-23-2019, 01:17 PM
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The supposed panic was so tiny as to be practically immeasurable on the night of the broadcast. Despite repeated assertions to the contrary in the PBS and NPR programs, almost nobody was fooled by Welles’ broadcast.

How did the story of panicked listeners begin? Blame America’s newspapers. Radio had siphoned off advertising revenue from print during the Depression, badly damaging the newspaper industry. So the papers seized the opportunity presented by Welles’ program to discredit radio as a source of news. The newspaper industry sensationalized the panic to prove to advertisers, and regulators, that radio management was irresponsible and not to be trusted.[/I]
My parents were visiting friends just a few miles from the Martians' landing site. My mom said they just looked out the window, saw nothing unusual, and went back to playing cards.
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:37 PM
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Some good examples so far, even the Whatsapp although that's almost the opposite of what I had in mind. Rumour mills have been an issue since one person could talk to another about a third and I get the mechanisms of how FUD (Fear, uncertainty, and Doubt) spreads in that way due to a lack of clear info. What I'm trying to figure out is whether government warnings have indeed caused mass panic (Not propaganda but clear, factual warnings about something like a tsunami warning for example.) There are lots of examples of why a body politic decides to keep the people in the dark but is that based on any evidence that telling them would cause more of a problem than keeping quiet or is it solely on human factors like pride, fear of discredit, etc.?
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:44 PM
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Would the Y2K panic qualify?

Hundreds of folks thought the world would end. Millions of dollars were spent on renovating/checking computer equipment to ensure it wouldn't stop working.
I really hate it when people use Y2K as an example of "panic over nothing". Very little went wrong precisely because millions of dollars and huge amounts of time were spent on fixing the problem.
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Old 04-23-2019, 02:55 PM
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And I suspect that it was more like billions of dollars spent to fix the Y2K bug, and that was not a panic; it was a necessary effort.
Hardly. Consultants made billions unnecessarily from their clients that didn't know better.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:00 PM
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The potential is there. Twitter. Create a fake emergency, put up a bunch of fake "official looking" shit telling people what they should do.

The Vegas strip was a bit of a cluster the night of the shooting because of false reports, etc on Twitter. A lot of it was mitigated by security procedures of the hotels.

It's not that that didn't happen before social media, it just happens faster.
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Old 04-23-2019, 03:44 PM
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Americans went absolutely nuts after Pearl Harbor...Vigilante squads popped up across the country.
One self-appointed civilian guardian of the peace fired a rifle into a house because he saw flashes of light and thought the occupant was signaling the Enemy (it was a housewife testing a lamp. Fortunately he missed her).

It wasn't just America. England had a ton of bogus "spy" sightings and rumors were rampant (including that Nazis were dressed up as nuns). One unfortunate farmer was hauled in by the S.I.S. and grilled, after it was reported that he had mown a field to leave an arrow of wheat pointing in the direction of an R.A.F. base three miles away (to alert the Luftwaffe, doncha know). He was released after it was decided that he had just gotten bored with the usual wheat harvest and had no idea a base was nearby.

These examples aren't exactly "panic", but there sure were a lot of loose cannons among civilians (and military as well) during WWII.
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:06 PM
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What about the false missile alerts in Hawaii in 2018? Many reports described the 38 minutes between the "incoming" and "oops" alerts as being a panic. It was a panic in that it induced fear and anxiety, and many people behaved in ways which were inappropriate, even if the missiles had turned out to be real. For example, parents went to pick kids up from school, even though it would probably have been safer for the parents to shelter where they were, and let the kids shelter in school, than to have them all stuck on the roads.

As far as I know, it did not result in rioting, looting, or widespread lawlessness.
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:08 PM
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I think the false missile alert message in Hawaii in 2018 would qualify. There were some amounts of fear and confusion, although it seems to have been cleared up relatively quickly.

There was also a similar false alert of a major earthquake in Tokyo in 2016.
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:21 PM
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This might count as an attempt to avoid a panic rather than the results of one, but a near-panic situation brought down the Berlin Wall.

From Cracked.com:


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After nearly 30 years and no sign of the wall coming down, East Germany had decided to show their people how charitable they were by slightly loosening travel restrictions for a little while. Gunter Schabowski was an East German politician charged with holding the press conference that would alert Germany to the new, minor changes to the travel code. On Nov. 9, 1989, Schabowski was handed a piece of paper that he expected to be so business-as-usual that he didn't even read it before he approached the podium.

As expected, the speech was so tedious and uninteresting that it nearly put the crowd to sleep, until ears perked up at references to relaxing travel between the borders. Through either poor wording or boredom-induced lapse of concentration, some journalists got the impression that Schabowski was implying they were to drop the restrictions entirely.

When someone asked him when this was to take effect, Schabowski flipped through the speech he hadn't read, and unable to find the answer, and probably feeling like his fly was undone in front of the world's press, he shrugged and said, "Immediately, right away." The press ran back to their typewriters and visors and declared to the world that East Germany had just canceled the Berlin Wall, effective, like, right fucking now.

The resulting frenzy at the border was too much for authorities to handle, and although they considered firing on the crowd, they decided that doing so would escalate the situation to an all-out heads-in-guillotines revolution. So the military fell back, the wall came down, communism ended, David Hasselhoff sang a song, and politicians everywhere learned how important it was to read the goddamn speech before a press conference.
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:26 PM
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Yeah, I think the false missile alerts and the Battle of LA would qualify. It amazes me how fast the rumour and misinformation flows. Ohh Good one, Ethilrist!
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:54 PM
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I really hate it when people use Y2K as an example of "panic over nothing". Very little went wrong precisely because millions of dollars and huge amounts of time were spent on fixing the problem.
Amen. Some of my seniors and peers at work keep bringing this up every time I try to argue that preparation and planning is required for some future event (most recently, the risk of a no-deal brexit).

We avoided a Y2K crisis not because it was imaginary, but because we worked to fix the problems.
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Old 04-23-2019, 04:58 PM
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Examples of human panic though, probably include things like bank runs and panic buying - admittedly, these are not on the global catastrophe scale that the OP is perhaps looking for, but they are indicators of how people may behave in the face of a perceived crisis.
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Old 04-23-2019, 05:33 PM
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In 1973, Johnny Carson caused a run on toilet paper by joking about a report he had read which indicated there might be a shortage some time in the future. His joke was seen by many more people than the report was, so the next day everybody went out to buy toilet paper, which used up all the paper in the stores, so people were looking at empty shelves, so... panic. He had to issue a retraction.
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Old 04-23-2019, 05:36 PM
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We can also include market panics. Even if we allow that some of them involved computer program trading that didn't know when to stop, there were no computers in October 1929.
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Old 04-23-2019, 05:56 PM
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Amen. Some of my seniors and peers at work keep bringing this up every time I try to argue that preparation and planning is required for some future event (most recently, the risk of a no-deal brexit).

We avoided a Y2K crisis not because it was imaginary, but because we worked to fix the problems.
I am curious though. If nothing was fixed, was the Y2K crisis really serious enough that people would have to hoard a year supply of food and thousands of round of ammo? Because some people were doing that. How serious a problem was it actually? It could still warrant a panic if they were was overreacting to a real problem.
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:01 PM
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Someone is bound to bring up the War of the Worlds Broadcast, with Orson Welles. Certainly there was some over-reaction, but the rumors of widespread panic are apparently unfounded.

https://slate.com/culture/2013/10/or...-hysteria.html
The supposed panic was so tiny as to be practically immeasurable on the night of the broadcast. Despite repeated assertions to the contrary in the PBS and NPR programs, almost nobody was fooled by Welles’ broadcast.

How did the story of panicked listeners begin? Blame America’s newspapers. Radio had siphoned off advertising revenue from print during the Depression, badly damaging the newspaper industry. So the papers seized the opportunity presented by Welles’ program to discredit radio as a source of news. The newspaper industry sensationalized the panic to prove to advertisers, and regulators, that radio management was irresponsible and not to be trusted.
I've heard the original broadcast several times; a college station in my town broadcasts it every Halloween. Among other things, it was not in "real time" so unless someone got in on it somewhere in the middle and didn't tune into other stations, I couldn't imagine panic, mass or otherwise.

There was a lot of panic in the fall of 2014 as an offshoot of the African Ebola outbreak. Remember some of that? One of the people who became fearful was my friend's then-15-year-old daughter, who came to her in tears, afraid that we were all going to die from Ebola. My friend flipped open her laptop and explained why we didn't have to worry about that here in the Midwest, and that mutated into a long conversation about AIDS, something people really DID fear in the early 1980s, and some of that fear was not unjustified, because at first, we had no clue what caused it, how it was spread, who was REALLY at risk, how to treat it, etc.
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:03 PM
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I am curious though. If nothing was fixed, was the Y2K crisis really serious enough that people would have to hoard a year supply of food and thousands of round of ammo? Because some people were doing that. How serious a problem was it actually? It could still warrant a panic if they were was overreacting to a real problem.
Some people STILL do that. The Mormons do believe in food storage, although they rotate it if they're doing it properly.
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:07 PM
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I am curious though. If nothing was fixed, was the Y2K crisis really serious enough that people would have to hoard a year supply of food and thousands of round of ammo? Because some people were doing that. How serious a problem was it actually? It could still warrant a panic if they were was overreacting to a real problem.
No.
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:09 PM
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I guess Exapno Mapcase maybe had a different interpretation of public panic than I did after reading the OP. If there is a killer asteroid or imminent alien invasion, I would expect PANIC. Ya know, widespread riots and lawlessness, regular folks hunkered down in their houses gripping their firearms and crying, martial law declared. I am not aware of that happening in US history.
Does that EVER happen? Hollywood would seem to imply that as soon as the EAS buzzer sounds people run out into the street to flip over cars and set them on fire.
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:18 PM
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it was more like billions of dollars spent to fix the Y2K bug, and that was not a panic; it was a necessary effort.
Considering how bad humans tend to be at spending money in an appropriate timeframe to avert disaster even when they've been well-warned of it, I always found it surprising that the Y2K stuff was actually dealt with in a reasonable and timely manner.

Of course, that does lead to the irony of people acting like this was wasted time and effort, because nothing happened.
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:21 PM
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Two worlds: Satanic panic.
That's what I came here to post.

Unlike most of the examples here, there was really nothing. And people's lives were ruined, because of some crazy stories, absurd beliefs, an overzealous, publicity-conscious court and law enforcement system, and people who refused to admit they were wrong.

Joseph McCarthy was an asshole, but at least there actually was a communist conspiracy in the U.S.

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Old 04-23-2019, 06:25 PM
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Yeah, I think the false missile alerts and the Battle of LA would qualify. It amazes me how fast the rumour and misinformation flows. Ohh Good one, Ethilrist!
How about the Bowling Green Massacre?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowling_Green_massacre

I also remember the swine flu scare in the fall of 1976, although even then, as an adolescent, I understood it somewhat because it came on the heels of the identification of Legionnaire's disease, which is terrifying but we know now that it is not transmissible person-to-person.
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:26 PM
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So, every consequential disaster of the Y2K bug, globally was diverted? Every single program in the world that could have had catastrophic consequences was fixed before midnight 12/31/99? Not buying it. If the problem was as bad as it was purported there should have been one single town or municipality in the world whose power infrastructure failed and stayed down for months. There was not. The magnitude of the potential problems were exaggerated. Were there issues? Yes. Did developers fix a lot of annoying issues that would have happened? Yes. Was the world in danger? No way.

https://www.eweek.com/security/some-...ears-after-y2k
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:46 PM
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i heard there were some problems in parts of asia and africa where they were still using apple 2/e or win 3.0 486's type of stuff but nothing horrible that wasnt solved ina few weeks
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Old 04-23-2019, 07:37 PM
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I am curious though. If nothing was fixed, was the Y2K crisis really serious enough that people would have to hoard a year supply of food and thousands of round of ammo? Because some people were doing that. How serious a problem was it actually? It could still warrant a panic if they were was overreacting to a real problem.
Lots of things were fixed. My ex-wife was a mainframe programmer at the time, and she said that people had been changing their coding habits for years. There were still a ton of computers out there that weren't compliant; I remember reading of one state that was told it had to swap out all its mainframes or the payroll system would choke. They did the swap, and left four of them up and running just to see what would happen. They died.

Last edited by Ethilrist; 04-23-2019 at 07:38 PM. Reason: I like string
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:12 PM
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I am curious though. If nothing was fixed, was the Y2K crisis really serious enough that people would have to hoard a year supply of food and thousands of round of ammo? Because some people were doing that. How serious a problem was it actually? It could still warrant a panic if they were was overreacting to a real problem.
Thats a maybe. Experts have said it was overblown, but that it could have been bad, just not world ending bad.
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:14 PM
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That's what I came here to post.

Unlike most of the examples here, there was really nothing. And people's lives were ruined, because of some crazy stories, absurd beliefs, an overzealous, publicity-conscious court and law enforcement system, and people who refused to admit they were wrong.

Joseph McCarthy was an asshole, but at least there actually was a communist conspiracy in the U.S.
Except that altho it was horrible, it was quite small scale. I mean, I dont know anyone who was affected by it. The articles i read were pretty small numbers, maybe like what 100 victims?

Yeah, and a surprisingly large number. Altho it seems like he had no real idea, it was the old Blind Squirrel.

Last edited by DrDeth; 04-23-2019 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:09 PM
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If the OP is specifically asking for times governments were proven right in their decision to keep information secret (or wrong in their decision not to). The British government keeping secret how low food supplies had got during the Battle of the Atlantic has to be a contender.

Obviously you never going to prove what would have happened the alternative reality where the British government were honest about the fact there wasn't any food left (and of course there are revisionist who say they were never that close to running out of food). But the balance evidence to me is there would have been a lot of panic and overwhelming demand to sue for peace if the government had been honest with the public.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:19 PM
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Hardly. Consultants made billions unnecessarily from their clients that didn't know better.
But that what consultants always do. Nothing to panic about.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:33 PM
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Some good examples so far, even the Whatsapp although that's almost the opposite of what I had in mind. Rumour mills have been an issue since one person could talk to another about a third and I get the mechanisms of how FUD (Fear, uncertainty, and Doubt) spreads in that way due to a lack of clear info. What I'm trying to figure out is whether government warnings have indeed caused mass panic (Not propaganda but clear, factual warnings about something like a tsunami warning for example.)
Rumasa. (Sorry, I haven't been able to find any decent articles in English, google insists in taking me to Spanish newspapers; wiki has a bare stub).

Banks aren't required to keep in hand all the money they have in deposit. In fact, one of the main mechanisms by which they make money is by taking deposited money and loaning it to other people; the interest that they pay on the deposit (if any) will be less than what they charge on the loans, plus they tack on as many commisions and fees as they can on both sides. This is normal. It's the core of banking. Banking regulations indicate banks need to be able to cover a certain % of their total holdings within certain times but do not require bankers to just sit on piles of big coins waiting for them to hatch little coins.

Rumors that the banks which were owned by the Rumasa Holding Group "do not have enough money to pay back the money people have in deposits" (which is actually normal, as explained above; I don't keep all my money in my wallet either) caused a wave of people going to those banks to close their savings accounts and claim their CDs back whether they'd matured or not (references to Mary Poppins abounded in the news). I doubt I'll ever know how healthy Rumasa's accounting was before the panic, but after two weeks of "give me back my money!" the government just walked in and took everything the Holding owned, under the by then certainly true premise that "the amount of cash they have in hand doesn't cover the required %".
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Last edited by Nava; 04-23-2019 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:39 PM
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But that what consultants always do. Nothing to panic about.
Well yeah. If I knew the law well, I wouldn't need to consult accountants and lawyers. And if my clients knew the Big Blue Database, I would need to find another line of work. But what people complaining about the costs of consultants forget is that nobody is an expert in everything and that keeping in-house experts on everything is also not free.
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Last edited by Nava; 04-23-2019 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 04-24-2019, 12:00 AM
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Remember that Ponzi scheme in Romania? The official quotes there claim that the government let it go on because they were afraid of riots and protests (and, more likely, of losing power):
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"I'm really very concerned," said Dan Pascariu, the chairman of the Romanian Bank of Commerce, adding that he estimated that three or four of every eight families in the country had invested. "There could be riots by those who are the losers. I think the founders of the scheme made a big mistake by going to the miners. You don't kid with these people."
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:11 AM
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If the OP is specifically asking for times governments were proven right in their decision to keep information secret (or wrong in their decision not to). The British government keeping secret how low food supplies had got during the Battle of the Atlantic has to be a contender.

Obviously you never going to prove what would have happened the alternative reality where the British government were honest about the fact there wasn't any food left (and of course there are revisionist who say they were never that close to running out of food). But the balance evidence to me is there would have been a lot of panic and overwhelming demand to sue for peace if the government had been honest with the public.
Similar situation: during the 1998 ice storm in Québec, there were daily press conferences by government and Hydro-Québec bigwigs. Lucien Bouchard at one point said that there was a serious situation being looked at in Montréal, but didn't specify what it was. He waited until the situation was resolved, a few days later, before revealing it: there are just two water pumping stations for the whole island of Montréal (pop. about 2 million), and for several hours they had both been without power. So people could still get some tap water (from the gravity reservoirs carved into Mont-Royal), but there wasn't enough to put out even a medium-sized fire. If he had revealed it as it was happening, people would have sucked the reservoirs dry while arsonists had a field day.

Last edited by Heracles; 04-24-2019 at 06:12 AM.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:13 AM
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Would the Y2K panic qualify?

Hundreds of folks thought the world would end. Millions of dollars were spent on renovating/checking computer equipment to ensure it wouldn't stop working.
I was at a NYE bar party that night. I asked Ron, the owner, if he thought the power grid might fail at midnight and he scoffed. Then I pointed out that he could always throw the main breaker and his eyes gleamed.

We did the 3 . . 2 . . 1. . and the lights went out. Someone screamed. A woman started crying. Ron spent hours apologizing to people.
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:00 AM
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Don't know if this is a widely held opinion / experience, but I felt the anthrax attacks after 9/11 created a lot of panic and fear - obv not at the level of mass hysteria, taking to the streets or anything, but it seemed really unnerving and ratcheted up tension. It was like a second wave attack after the meteor strike of 9/11, but something far more insidious that could reach surburban Americans.

I was working in Philadelphia at the time, and the letters were sent from New Jersey, so perhaps being close by meant the case got heightened coverage and had more impact in that part of the world.

[Just reading about the attacks now on wiki, years after, and the investigation seems quite a story, no real satisfactory resolution].
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:17 AM
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Does that EVER happen? Hollywood would seem to imply that as soon as the EAS buzzer sounds people run out into the street to flip over cars and set them on fire.
They do that during much more meaningful times, like when their team wins the NCAA tournament.
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Old 04-24-2019, 11:08 AM
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Some excellent responses and Thanks Nava for making me brush up a bit on my Spanish. I couldn't quite follow everything in my searches and tried not to use the translate function but it seems like the run was started partially by the news that the government was privatizing the Holding company and everyone would lose their money; or am I misinterpreting?

Griffin and Heracles, these are one example of what I was asking about; scarcity kept hidden to prevent potential panic. How can you break that mentality of "I need to get mine before it's all gone". Is it such an intrinsic part of our Nature that remaining oblivious is the only way to keep the masses tractable?
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