The Moral panic reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Moral panic

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A moral panic is a semi-spontaneous or media-generated mass movement based on the perception that some individual or group, frequently a minority group or a subculture, is dangerously deviant and poses a menace to society. These panics are generally fuelled by, although not always caused by, media coverage of social issues. A widely circulated and new-seeming urban legend is frequently involved. These panics can sometimes lead to mob violence. The term was coined by Stanley Cohen in 1972 to describe media coverage of Mods and Rockers in the United Kingdom in the 1960s. A factor in moral panic is the Deviancy Amplification Spiral.

Recent moral panics in the UK have included the ongoing tabloid newspaper campaign against pedophiles, which led to the assault and persecution of a pediatrician by an angry mob in August 2000, and that surrounding the murder of James Bulger in Liverpool, England, United Kingdom in 1993.

Examples of moral panics, or real or imagined phenomena that spurred moral panic:

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