astroturfing

(redirected from Astroturf group)
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Related to Astroturf group: Astroturf Lobbying

astroturfing

Generating public excitement in a subject by posting anonymous comments to blogs, wikis and other public venues. Astroturfing looks like spontaneous comments from different people but is really an orchestrated campaign by an organization or public relations firm. The term comes from AstroTurf, which is a renowned "fake" lawn made to look like real grass. See meat puppet.
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References in periodicals archive ?
More recently, word that the Koch brothers--well known for their conservative activism and backing of so-called astroturf groups, which appear to be grassroots organizations but are often backed by wealthy benefactors--were circling media properties, including the Tribune newspapers, triggered renewed hand-wringing.
Research from astroturf groups should be considered biased, unless proved otherwise.
For two decades, Potter was a part of the insurance-industry PR machine that did everything from setting up Astroturf groups to spreading fears of "socialized medicine" to bolster public opinion against any reform that might affect insurers' bottom line.
Labor allies are also key to the fight, and, because PhRMA has a long history of funding so-called Astroturf groups to attack from the left "trying to put an off-color face on its self-interest," says Blum--so are African American or Latino legislators.
Astroturf groups range from violent fringe elements like the "Wise Use" movement (which grew out of a 1988 Reno, Nevada meeting between right-wing activists and public-lands resource industries) to scientific-seeming think-tanks like the Washington-based American Council on Science and Health (a food, drug and chemical industry group that posits itself an objective source of information on food, drugs and chemicals).
Cohen has also been central to creating a host of astroturf groups at the state level, typically called Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse.