A moral panic may be defined as an episode, often triggered by alarming media stories and reinforced by reactive laws and public policy, of exaggerated or misdirected public concern, anxiety, fear, or anger over a perceived threat to social order. Details of the term’s origin remain obscure, but its conceptualization began as an outgrowth of the politically engaged social perspective advanced by a group of leftist sociologists in the United Kingdom called the National Deviancy Conference (NDC). The NDC was formed in July 1968 in reaction to the Third National Conference of Teaching and Research on Criminology, held at the University of Cambridge, where, as the new organization’s founders saw it, participants made the crucial mistake of treating deviance as an objectively discernible class of behaviors rather than an ascribed social category. In 1971, founding member Jock Young employed the term in “The Role of the Police as Amplifiers of Deviancy, Negotiators of Reality and Translators of Fantasy: Some Consequences of Our Present System of Drug Control as Seen in Notting Hill,” his contribution to Images of Deviance, an anthology chiefly comprising papers originally presented at NDC meetings, edited by his friend Stanley Cohen (also an NDC founder). The next year, Cohen explored the idea in depth in Moral Panics and Folk Devils: The Creation of the Mods and Rockers, his analysis of media, public, and state responses to clashes between youth gangs that took place in Clacton and other resort towns along England’s southeastern coast in 1964. Both Young and Cohen may have been influenced in their choice of words by the brief appearance of the term in Marshall McLuhan’s (1964) Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (xxxv).