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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Virtual Astroturf

In chapter 9, we discuss the ways in which interest groups try to mobilize citizens to support their views. As this Gawker report suggests, they are making innovating use of social networking:
Health insurance industry trade groups opposed to President Obama's health care reform bill are paying Facebook users fake money — called "virtual currency" — to send letters to Congress protesting the bill. ... Paying people to act like political supporters is called "astroturfing," because its fake grass-roots campaigning. So maybe this should be called Virtual astroturfing. Virtual-turfing? Astroturfing 2.0?