Definition of astroturfing

Astroturfing is a form of false advertising or lobbying involving the practice of preparing or disseminating an online review that a reasonable consumer/reader would believe to be a true account of a service or product.

 

astroturfing in the news

In September 2013 New York regulators announced the result of a year long investigation, dubbed Operation Clean Turf, which resulted in a settlement with 19 companies to cease the manipulation of consumer-review websites. Businesses including a charter bus operator, a teeth-whitening service, a laser hair-removal chain and an adult entertainment club agreed to pay a total of $350,000 in penalties in a wide-ranging crackdown on deceptive comments on the internet.

In August 2009, Energy Citizen rallies against climate change legislation were criticised as an attempt to conjure up grass roots protest which was in fact supported by energy companies.

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