In assessing the fine, the city council found that Entergy had prevented the voices of real citizens from being heard in an attempt to show false grassroots support—a common danger of astroturfing. A form of spamming public opinion from political organisations via the media. a brand of carpetlike covering made of vinyl and nylon to resemble turf, used for athletic fields, patios, etc. While the NSA presented itself as a grassroots organization of private citizens concerned for the rights of adult smokers, it was exposed as being a public relations group created, funded, and operated by tobacco industry giant Philip Morris. Astroturfing campaigns attempt to mislead the public into believing that their opinion or position is shared by most people. Astroturfing is the attempt to create an impression of widespread grassroots support for a policy, individual, or product, where little such support exists… Commercially-motivated astroturfing is called "astroturf marketing." Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas, when he said, “A fellow from Texas can tell the difference between grassroots and AstroTurf... this is generated mail,” in describing the “mountain of cards and letters” he had received demanding his support for a bill favorable to the insurance industry. Did Uncle Tom's Cabin Help to Start the Civil War? “Astroturfing” refers to illegitimate political practices that involve mobilizing mass participation on behalf of a (usually) covert or undisclosed external patron, whether that patron is a firm, industry group, government agency, nonprofit organization or foundation, or well-resourced individual. Gerrymander definition is - the act or method of gerrymandering. "astroturf" being artificial grassroots. The political strategy takes advantage of the “herd instinct” of people to adopt the opinions of the majority. How to use gerrymander in a sentence. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a PR tactic used in politics and advertising in which actors are paid to display overt and apparently spontaneous grassroots support for a particular product, policy, or event [C21: from Astroturf, the artificial grass, as this is artifical grassroots support] A minuscule minority exploits the political astroturf to silence the majority into submission. Definition and Examples, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, “Consent and counter-mobilization: the case of the national smokers alliance.”, “Revealed: US Spy Operation That Manipulates Social Media.”, “Report: Entergy Knew It Was Paying for Actors.”, “From 4chan to Congress? : organized activity that is intended to create a false impression of a widespread, spontaneously arising, grassroots movement in support of or in opposition to something (such as a political policy) but that is in reality initiated and controlled by a concealed group or organization (such as a corporation) Classic astroturfing is the practice of disguising an orchestrated … the act or process of installing Astroturf on a surface. The many ways that corporations, special interests and political interests of all stripes exploit media and the Internet to perpetuate astroturf is ever-expanding. How to Regulate Though Astroturf organizations are different from political campaigns, there is a lesson to learn from limiting political fundraising: unintended consequences can make regulation moot and can, in some indirect lobbying efforts that manipulate or create public sentiment, "astroturf" being artificial grassroots. As in fake grassroots. "Astroturfing," first coined by U.S. Many companies stand to gain a great deal of money through their astroturfing efforts, which might be lobbying against the passage of a particular bill, dismissing concerns about the environment, or preying upon fears about public health and education. Definition and Examples, What Is a Communications Major? The more people who “hop on the bandwagon,” the harder it is to stop it. Astroturfing, however, is not without its defenders. Campaigns & Elections magazine defines astroturf as a "grassroots program that involves the instant manufacturing of public support for a point of view in which either uninformed activists are recruited or means of deception are used to recruit them." In political science, astroturfing is an attempt to give the false impression that a certain candidate or policy enjoys widespread grassroots support of the community when little such support exists. Direct Lobbying. In light of the recent FBI/DOJ fiasco and the recent “shootings” in America & the recent Brexit vote in the UK, I would like to bring to you some examples of how astroturfing is playing a major and dangerous role in politics,economics and liberties … Astroturfingdenotes political, advertising, or public relations campaigns that are formally planned by an organization, but are disguised as spontaneous, popular "grassroots" behavior. See astroturfing. Rather than grassroots politics, the future is made of Astroturf. The goal of these communication strategies is to amplify or suppress political … Facilitation is provided by the relative anonymity and even falsehood of the platform. Meaning of Astroturf. Because people tend to adopt the opinions they believe to be held by the majority—the so-called herd instinct— astroturfing campaigns can become an obstacle to independent thinking. Campaigns & Elections magazine defined astroturf as a “grassroots program that involves the instant manufacturing of public support for a point of view in which either uninformed activists are recruited or means of deception are used to recruit them.”. Astroturfing campaigns may be orchestrated by corporations, lobbyists, labor unions, nonprofits, or activist organizations. Astroturf. They may also be undertaken by individuals with personal agendas or by highly organized groups. The original AstroTurf product was a short-pile synthetic turf. How Are the Statistics of Political Polls Interpreted? Astroturfing definition: a PR tactic used in politics and advertising in which actors are paid to display overt... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples Courses, Jobs, Salaries, How Media Censorship Affects the News You See, What Is Disinformation? Interest groups founded by citizens that are funded by pig political companies. Often the line between real grassroots and astroturf lobbying is blurred. A guide to the QAnon conspiracy theory.”, “Public Relations' Role in Manufacturing Artificial Grass Roots Coalitions.”, “Say goodbye to grassroots politics. noun. (usually lowercase) the deceptive tactic of simulating grassroots support for a product, cause, etc., undertaken by people or organizations with … Astroturfing is the practice of creating the illusion of widespread grassroots support for a candidate, policy, or cause when no such support exists. Descriptive of its intent, the term “astroturfing” refers to AstroTurf brand synthetic carpeting designed to mimic natural grass. Astroturfing is an artificially-manufactured political movement designed to give the appearance of grassroots activism. The Tensions Rise During the George W. Bush Years . While the tea party may have formerly started after Obama took office, anger over federal spending and a rapidly bloating government began to surface during the big-spending years of the George W. Bush administration. Definition and Examples, What Is a Think Tank? In the purely political arena, however, while the Federal Election Commission enforces strict laws governing political advertisements in newspapers and on television, they do not currently regulate online astroturfing campaigns. Victims of astroturfing become so anxious to join the crowd riding the bandwagon, they may ignore or reject underlying evidence as well as their own beliefs. What Is Sectionalism? Astroturfing is a word in English describing formal political, advertising, or public relations campaigns seeking to create the impression of being spontaneous " grassroots " behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, AstroTurf. Definition and Examples. The first political astroturfing efforts were simply letter writing campaigns, such as that referred to by Sen. Bentsen in 1985. Indicating that it is not really genuine. Yet others, like the public relations firm Porter/Novelli, have defended astroturfing as an alternative, stating that, “There will be times when the position you advocate, no matter how well framed and supported, will not be accepted by the public simply because you are who you are.”, ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. astroturf Creating the impression of public support by paying people in the public to pretend to be supportive. Posted on Last updated: April 9, 2020 By: Author taegan. A front group is an organization that claims to be a nonpartisan voluntary association or charity but represents the interest of an organization whose identity is hidden. Definition of Astroturf Campaign In the areas of Political Participation, Interest Groups and Lobbying, Astroturf Campaign has the following meaning: The term “grassroots movement” implies a broad based, deeply rooted sentiment and action among the populace. ... AstroTurf. Definition of astroturfing. This opened the floodgates for “dark money,” such as money spent to fund astroturfing efforts, to flow through political campaigns in the United States. Further, they argue that the proliferation of astroturfing conspiracy theory movements such as 4chan and QAnon, coupled with the still largely unregulated nature of the internet, will make it harder to prevent the influence of disinformation on politics. While astroturfing is not illegal, it is questioned as an ethical practice. While astroturfing campaigns can at least temporarily alter public opinion or create doubt, they typically fail when confronted by facts or when opposed by true grassroots movements. Specifically where a media operation of a Campaign or political party distributes a press release to voulunteers who forward it en masse by letter and e-mail to media organisations in an attempt to distort the media organisations perception of public opinion, and distort the media organisations output. On September 11, 2014, several individuals posting on Twitter reported a major explosion at a chemical plant in Louisiana. Now often associated with the derogatory term “fake news,” astroturfing in politics is defined as attempting to manufacture a false illusion of wide-spread, “grassroots” public opinion favoring or opposing a particular candidate, legislative measure, or cause. Since then, the growth of the internet, identity masking software, and online crowdsourcing, along with a general increase in the public’s interest in government and social reforms, has spawned more sophisticated forms of astroturfing. The future is made of Astroturf.”. This omission has come under increased scrutiny since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government cannot limit corporations, labor unions, or associations from spending money to influence the outcome of elections in its landmark 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision. In 2011, for example, the U.S. Central Command paid a California company $2.76 million to create multiple “fake online personas to influence net conversations and spread US propaganda” in Western Asian languages including Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and Pashto. In political science, astroturfing is an attempt to give the false impression that a certain candidate or policy enjoys widespread grassroots support of the community when little such support exists. In this context, astroturfing takes advantage of the bandwagon effect—a phenomenon that occurs when more people do something simply because they believe other people are doing it. The term refers to AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass. For example, the National Smoker’s Alliance (NSA) was formed in 1993 to oppose the passage of anti-smoking legislation in the U.S. Congress. Definition - Astroturf refers to apparently grassroots-based citizen groups or coalitions that are primarily conceived, created and/or funded by corporations, industry trade associations, political interests or public relation firms. Is lobbying an unfair practice? Using persona management software, each paid sock puppeteer can create and post as multiple unrelated identities. So there is a free-for-all hatred syndrome on social media. Astroturfing is an artificially-manufactured political movement designed to give the appearance of grassroots activism. Astroturfing campaigns attempt to mislead the public into … Campaigns & Elections magazine defined astroturf as a “grassroots program that involves the instant manufacturing of public support for a point of view in which either uninformed activists are recruited or means of deception are used to recruit them.”. ... To fabricate an impression of political support for an agenda. In internet-based astroturfing campaigns, the sock puppeteer poses on blogs, websites, and forums as an independent third party, but is funded by another entity. Since the early 2000s, AstroTurf has marketed taller pile systems that use infill materials to better replicate natural turf. Drawing on the old saying that, “All is fair in love, war, and politics,” some contend that rather than “cheating,” the use of astroturfing techniques to garner support goes back to the earliest days of politics. Definition and Examples, What Is Civic Engagement? The New York Attorney General just ordered 19 companies to pay over $350,000 between them in penalties, after they were discovered astroturfing. AstroTurf is a brand of artificial turf. In 2016, the U.S. intelligence community claimed to have found evidence that Russia had used paid sockpuppets to influence the presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. As opposed to true grassroots movements, which are generated spontaneously, astroturfing campaigns do not reflect the authentic engagement of people who have organized on their own. Definition and Examples, What Is Neoliberalism? Instead, astroturfing movements can be created and conducted by any organization or individual with enough money. Front groups are one of the most easily exposed forms of astroturfing. The original AstroTurf product was a short-pile synthetic turf. Astroturfing is the deceptive tactic of pretending a cause, product, or idea has grassroots support when it does not. Unlike natural grassroots campaigns which are people-rich and money-poor, an astroturf campaign tends to be the opposite, well-funded but with little actual support from voters. Astroturfing may be undertaken by individuals with personal agendas or by highly organized groups funded by large corporations, lobbyists, labor unions, nonprofits, or activist organizations. pointed out, our “political tradition is that voters judge the truthfulness and relevance of campaign arguments.” B. indirect lobbying efforts that manipulate or create public sentiment. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a PR tactic used in politics and advertising in which actors are paid to display overt and apparently spontaneous grassroots support for a particular product, policy, or event [C21: from Astroturf, the artificial grass, as this is artifical grassroots support] Critics of the practice fear that, given the relative ease with which public opinion can be swayed through deception and confusion, astroturfing campaigns could eventually replace true, hard-fought grassroots movements. However, in October 2018, the Louisiana-based energy company Entergy was fined $5 million for using actors paid by an astroturfing firm to demonstrate and speak at city council hearings in favor of a controversial power plant development project in New Orleans. A movement may be partly spontaneous but partly orchestrated. While there are laws in the United States against astroturfing in commercial advertising, they do not apply to political advertising. In politics and public policy, sockpuppeting—an analogy to the simple hand puppet made from a sock—is the creation of false online identities to manipulate public opinion to support or criticize particular candidates, causes, or organizations. This strategy is undertaken by organizations or parties for the sole purpose of shaping public opinion. Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas in 1985, is when companies or even individuals mask their motives by putting it under the guise of a grassroots movement. Informal Definition/Use. How an “Old Hippie” Got Accused of Astroturfing the Right-Wing Campaign to Reopen the Economy “Liberals think I’m trying to support all these nut cases…They have it all wrong.” Definition of Astroturf in the Definitions.net dictionary. In such campaigns, otherwise uninterested people are paid by corporations to inundate elected representatives with letters seemingly from their constituents attempting to convince them that their cause had wider voter support than actually existed. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, What Is a Grassroots Movement? Political Action Committee (PAC) fund-raising arm of an interest group. The goal of such a campaign is to disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, … The term astroturfing was coined in 1985 by U.S. From a psychological perspective, a person’s beliefs on a particular subject are often influenced by the beliefs of others. However, U.S. authorities revealed that the posts were part of sockpuppeting effort sponsored by the Russian government’s Internet Research Agency. Journalist William Greider has coined his own term to describe corporate grassroots organizing. While appearing to represent grassroots movements, front groups are funded by political groups, corporations, labor associations, or public relations firms. Descriptive of its intent, the term “astroturfing” refers to AstroTurf brand synthetic carpeting designed to mimic natural grass. The false support can take the form of letters to the editor, postings on message boards in response to criticism, and writing to politicians in support of the cause. Definition and Examples, Current Political Campaign Contribution Limits, The Era of the Super PAC in American Politics, What Is Autocracy? Astroturf Lobbying. direct interaction with public officials for the purpose of influencing policy decisions. AstroTurf is an American subsidiary that produces artificial turf for playing surfaces in sports. 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