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Word of the Day
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Definitions for astroturfing

  1. the deceptive tactic of simulating grassroots support for a product, cause, etc., undertaken by people or organizations with an interest in shaping public opinion: In some countries astroturfing is banned, and this includes sponsored blog posts.
  2. (initial capital letter) the act or process of installing Astroturf on a surface.

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Citations for astroturfing
An aide said Mr. Markey hoped to combat the tactic of astroturfing in which a professional lobbying effort is made to seem like a grass-roots movement. Stephanie Strom, "Coal Group Is Linked to Fake Letters on Climate Bill," New York Times, August 4, 2009
This isn’t usually the sort of behavior we think of when we talk about political “astroturfing”—that much-loathed, much-feared practice of faking grass-roots support online—but as more and more political discourse has moved to the Internet, the techniques have multiplied. Caitlin Dewey, "The three types of political astroturfing you'll see in 2016," Washington Post, September 26, 2016
Origin of astroturfing
Astroturfing was originally an Americanism, coined in 1974, meaning “to cover an area with Astroturf (a carpetlike covering made of vinyl and nylon to resemble turf, used for athletic fields, patios, etc.).” Twenty years later (1993) the current sense of Astroturfing “the deceptive tactic of simulating grassroots support for a product or cause, undertaken to influence public opinion” first appeared in Canadian and Australian newspapers.
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