Astroturfing

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Concept.png Astroturfing Rdf-icon.png
Typepropaganda
Rolling out of fake grassroots movements
Astroturf and manipulation of media messages
TEDx University of Nevada
Astroturfing is a method of selling a message, organization or agenda. It is to make belief others (experts, politicians, the public in general or any targeted group), that for the promoted goal does exist support by, for example: a larger number of interested individuals or experts in their respective fields. The same tactic is used to deny a message that is unwanted. It may or may not have developed in the field of advertising, but it can serve as a tool to anyone with enough founding to get their own message across (smaller agendas with the help of social media and sock puppet accounts will not even cost much). An appropriate example in the early 20th century is Water/Fluoridation, for which the Kettering Laboratory, the University of Rochester and the Mellon Institute were instrumental to deliver the message that fluoridation does have health benefits and no risks. Astroturf in a nutshell, according to Sharyl Attkisson, is: "to try to convince you there’s widespread support for or against an agenda when there’s not.".[1] Identifying which is an original viewpoint and what is not can get difficult when there is to much interference involved.

Political applications

Funding of whole media organizations of any political spectrum, from foundations or any other special interest group, makes it complicated to see genuine opinion. According to Brian Salter: "big establishment foundations are likely to seek out 'alternative' media that is more bark than bite, which they can rely on to ignore and dismiss sensitive topics like those mentioned above -- and many more -- as 'irrelevant distractions' or 'conspiracy theory'. Recipients of funding will always protest that they are not swayed by any conflicts of interest and don't allow the sources of funding to affect their decisions, but whether or not these claims are actually true is already somewhat of a red herring. The more important question is, what sort of 'alternative' journalism garners the goodwill of the Ford Foundation corporate rogues gallery in the first place? Or the Rockefeller Foundation? Or Carnegie, Soros, and Schumann? Judging by the journalism being offered (and not offered) by Nation magazine, FAIR, Pacifica, Progressive magazine, IPA, Mother Jones, Alternet, and other recipients of their funding, the big establishment foundations are successfully sponsoring the kind of 'opposition' that the US ruling elite can tolerate and live with."[2]


 

An example

Page nameDescription
Center for Medicine in the Public Interest


References


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