Main Astroturf Discussion

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06:33:21 PM Aug 3rd 2013
Most of the examples are Real Life. Does this really need examples when all it's doing is explaining the term? It doesn't feel like a Trope, more like an oversized dictionary entry that's got a bunch of political stuff in it.
01:58:01 PM Sep 3rd 2010
edited by LostInFog
I worked as a word processor for a public opinion and market research firm in the early '80s. They did some Very Good work - the first-ever city-wide scientific poll to survey and improve the impact of safer-sex messaging (all previous polls had been neighborhood-specific, or handouts at gay bars) with tracking polls to continually improve the messaging and its impact. I'm very proud of having been a part of that.

BUT: They funded their outstanding pro bono work by selling their skills and talents to the Dark Side, specifically huge real estate developers building suburban tracts, office buildings and shopping malls in areas that had been semi-rural, small towns surrounded by farmland. They did this by first polling to find out what lies (and yes, they were *lies*) people would believe, depending on how they're phrased and who said them. They then disseminated those lies in part by preparing sample letters-to-the-editor from "concerned citizens", often railing against the "outside interests" (e.g., environmentalists) who opposed the developments.

In the worst example, there was a town where the "pro-growth" message just wasn't taking hold; people really liked their small-town atmosphere. Sadly, what lie underneath that sentiment was xenophobia. There was one city council member who was solidly anti-development from a liberal angle, who was quite popular because of her anti-development stance. And then the town decided to ban "cruising", clearly aimed at the Mexican/Latino low-rider car culture. On the weekend before the ban was to take effect, the cruising folks organized one last party, which was met with cops in full riot gear hitting cars with their batons - which naturally led to a riot. Well, this city council member went out that night to see what was up, and described what happened as a police-provoked riot. This gave our Astro Turfers the ammunition they needed.

So they used all their tools - polling, letter-writing, phone calls, door-to-door canvassing, etc. - to build up a "grass-roots" campaign to defeat this city council member, focusing all attention not on her stance on development (for which she was popular) but against her opposition to anti-low-rider xenophobia (which the firm's client had no stake in). They won, she lost, and the development went through.

It is to my everlasting shame that I didn't find some way to leak this stuff to that city council member, or otherwise find some way to help her.
07:41:38 PM May 7th 2010
Would the US Tea Baggers movement count as Astroturfing, since they're predominantly funded by the GOP, and the most outspoken are GOP plants?
06:24:54 AM Oct 26th 2010
edited by NotSoFluent
Clearly you've only been reading as far as 2009. Read this article, O Ignorant One:

While there are a few organizations that have tried to hijack the movement, but those "teabaggers" (as the spend-happy Left so lovingly calls them), are mostly unsatisfied conservatives and independents that were annoyed by Bush's big spending and the tripling of said spending under the 110th congress. Try turning off MSNBC for a second and do a little research. It's not on the page for a reason.

There are endorsed politicians in the GOP that support it since third-parties always fail, so the movement itself is trying to reform the party from the inside by getting rid of the big-spending Rockefeller neoconservatives as well as the big-spending neoprogressives.
03:44:08 AM Oct 27th 2010
I will call FUCKING biased source on Patheos there. Look, that's just as biased as MSNBC if not more. And nice job at trying to fucking lay AstroTurf on an article about Astroturf. Now go away little plant...
03:54:45 PM Nov 16th 2010
edited by RedwoodElf
And the example on the page from MICHAEL FLIPPING MOORE is "unbiased", A Groupie? Not to mention Giving Obama's Snarkie quote about two totally made-up organizations Pride-of-Place as the flavor quote at the very top? (See Deadpan Snarker and Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket for more information on our current bungler-in-chief

How about this genuine example of Astro-Turf, where a "protester" is caught as having been HIRED to hold a sign to protest...
07:27:30 PM Nov 16th 2010
I'll remove the Moore and Obama quotes. That said Patheos is an even more biased source.
07:59:16 PM Nov 26th 2010
edited by RedwoodElf
I just belive that before one begins flinging Petrological fragments, one should ensure that he is not dwelling in a home composed of crystallized silica.
04:44:56 AM Mar 5th 2010
This really belong in Troper Tales but I can't be bothered to set up a new page for it. A while ago I interviewed for a tech company, who will remain nameless, that has a rather poor repuation among both customers and their own employees. The Internet is full of people bitching about them, and most of the positive responses are very obviously posted by PR hacks pretending to be current or former employees. The subject of their negative public image came up in the interview, and the manager's response was something along the lines of "our PR department is posting as fast as they can on these forums but it takes time to drown out the opposition." Needless to say I did not further pursue employment with the company, for a multitude of reasons.
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