[ExI] Astroturf - Is anything 'real' out there?

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Fri Aug 5 08:40:43 UTC 2011

On Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 2:46 AM, Kelly Anderson wrote:
> Fair enough. Admittedly, I provided a very long list, without a lot of
> detail... and I can't blame you for missing this one, which I believe
> does meet the definition of astroturfing.
> http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=498740
> 'So what looked like a wildfire grassroots movement really was a
> manipulation from OSI's glassy Manhattan offices. The public had no
> way of knowing until the release of OSI's 2006 annual report.'
> I would be willing to bet a significant sum that this is not the only
> case. If this doesn't meet the definition, then I do not understand
> what astroturfing is. The point for me is that Soros is creating
> opinion, not supporting it.

Yes, Soros is lobbying and producing propaganda. Nobody is denying
that claim. All sides of the political / financial spectrum try to
sway public opinion in similar fashion. That's what the advertising
and PR industries do.

Astroturf also tries to change laws and sway public opinion. But the
point is that astroturf is pretending to have massive public support
that doesn't exist.  In the example you quoted, having millions of
protesters in the streets is obviously not astroturf. Neither is
giving financial support to a whistleblower.

explains and offers examples.
Sometimes, as in all messy human affairs, a valid grassroots campaign
will throw in a bit of astroturfing to help their campaign. Like
flooding newspapers or congressmen with similar readers letters using
many different fake names, so as to appear to have more public support
than they actually have.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list