Updated December 7, 2016

Examples of Folklore, Rumors (or Rumours), Urban Myths

& Organized Misinformation Campaigns

Interfering with Development & Aid/Relief Efforts & Elections

This is a list of examples on how folklore, rumors (or rumours) and urban myths / urban legends have interfered with relief and development activities, public health initiatives, etc., whether these activities are by non-governmental organizations (NGOs), nonprofits, government agencies, international bodies like the United Nations, etc. This isn't a problem limited to developing countries.

This also is not a comprehensive list. I'm not trying to find every example - just ones that illustrate the problem. 

(if a URL no longer works, try searching for the title on Google, or look at the source code for this page and cut and paste the desired URL into Archive.org)

(if a URL no longer works, try searching for the title on Google, or look at the source code for this page and cut and paste the desired URL into Archive.org)

I blog about examples as well:

I'm not interested in just urban legends but, specifically misinformation that interferes with relief or development efforts, or government initiatives. And most especially, I'm interested in ways that such misinformation has been countered successfully. If you have related information or examples, please contact me.

Please see these recommendations on Preventing Folklore, Rumors (or Rumours) and Urban Myths From Interfering with Development and Aid/Relief Efforts, and Government Initiatives.

What I'm also wondering: are their any efforts in developing and transitional countries similar to the myth-busting Straight Dope column by Cecil Adams in the USA? Or truthorfiction.com? Or hoax-slayer.com? Or MythBusters? If you know of such, please contact me.

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