11 Jul '11, 3pm

The Science of Astroturfing

The Science of Astroturfing

Here at DeSmogBlog, and around the environmental and liberal political blogosphere, there is great concern about “Astroturf” organizations—groups that pose as real citizen movements or organizations, but in fact are closely tied to corporations or special interests. The “fake grassroots” has been a major issue in the climate debate in particular, where groups like Americans for Prosperity, closely tied to the billionaire Koch Brothers, have sought to mobilize opposition to cap-and-trade legislation. One obvious goal of astroturfing is to shape public policy, and public opinion, in a manner congenial to corporate interests. And indeed, the outrage over astroturfing in a sense presumes that this activity actually works (or else, why oppose it). Yet there have been few scientific tests of whether the strategy does indeed move people—in part, presumably, because doing a contro...

Full article: http://www.desmogblog.com/science-astroturfing

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