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Online astroturfing is more advanced and more automated than we’d imagined.

in Internet 12.11.2011 00:54
von Jonas • 615 Beiträge

Online astroturfing is more advanced and more automated than we’d imagined.

By George Monbiot. Published in the Guardian 23rd February 2011

Every month more evidence piles up, suggesting that online comment threads and forums are being hijacked by people who aren’t what they seem to be. The anonymity of the web gives companies and governments golden opportunities to run astroturf operations: fake grassroots campaigns, which create the impression that large numbers of people are demanding or opposing particular policies. This deception is most likely to occur where the interests of companies or governments come into conflict with the interests of the public. For example, there’s a long history of tobacco companies creating astroturf groups to fight attempts to regulate them.
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After I last wrote about online astroturfing, in December, I was contacted by a whistleblower. He was part of a commercial team employed to infest internet forums and comment threads on behalf of corporate clients, promoting their causes and arguing with anyone who opposed them.
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http://www.monbiot.com/2011/02/23/robot-wars/

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