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Company Fined for Astroturfing
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Strange Famous Forum > Social stuff. Political stuff. KNOWMORE

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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
Posts: 6871
Location: Northern New Jersey
Company Fined for Astroturfing  Reply with quote  

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5irzghaXbc4YngJqeGbCZUs6KuREwD99EGK504


Quote:

"I need you to devote the day to doing more postings on the Web as a satisfied client," employees were told in one internal e-mail, according to the attorney general's office. Another internal message directed a worker to "put your wig and skirt on and tell them about the great experience you had."

The disguised workers did that and more, sometimes pushing to get message boards to remove critical posts and even setting up pro-Lifestyle Lift Web sites that masqueraded as independent views, Cuomo's office said. The postings dated back to early 2007, the attorney general's office said.

One such site featured a detailed "journal," stretching from a first consultation to two months after the procedure, and included photos and an exhortation to "GO FOR IT." Another supposed first-person account came complete with the names of the writer's children.


They settled, but that includes $300k in penalties.
Post Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:16 am
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leifkolt



Joined: 01 May 2009
Posts: 293
Location: Where good people go to die.
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This is one of those things we are going to see more and more in the future. And, while a huge part of me says 'thats just the way the internet is' and that you should always take everything on the internet with a grain of salt, another part of me is worried that as incidences like this increase it will lead to laws being passed that will greatly restrict privacy, freedom, and anonymity on the internet.

Not that it's good to have sloppy middle aged drunkards in wife beaters posing as MSHOTTHNG69, but I think that those are the things that made the internet magical in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, I am really glad this company got called out and fined, but it's also what we should all expect from most corporations addicted to the dollar and I just don't want their bullshit interfering with everyone's internet freedoms.
Post Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:40 am
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T-Wrex
p00ny tang


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 6405
Location: Detroit, Michigan
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Hah.

Old news, but hah too.

http://www.smartmoney.com/breaking-news/smw/?story=20070712105705
Post Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:42 am
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metachronos



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 454
Location: Green Bay, WI
 Reply with quote  

Why's it called astroturfing?
Post Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:43 pm
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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
Posts: 6871
Location: Northern New Jersey
 Reply with quote  

cause it's spreading out a lot of fakeness
Post Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:46 pm
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leifkolt



Joined: 01 May 2009
Posts: 293
Location: Where good people go to die.
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metachronos wrote:
Why's it called astroturfing?


Fake Grassroots Marketing = Astroturf
Post Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:56 pm
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Dan Shay



Joined: 30 Aug 2003
Posts: 11245
Location: MN
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Astroturfing is where public relations firms create front groups for their clients, that at the surface look like a democratic movement.

Your example is just fraud.

An example of astroturfing is the Christian Coalition is known for using their massive phone fundraising bank to call up their donors, ask them if they're with the Coalition on such and such upcoming legislation, and if they are, the Coalition will briefly coach that person on how to lobby the issue and then immediately patch that person through to their local legislators office phone.
Post Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:52 pm
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redball



Joined: 12 May 2006
Posts: 6871
Location: Northern New Jersey
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I went with what /. called it. I know that plenty of people around here are against marketing practices such as these, so I thought it would be nice to post a mild win.

For what it's worth, leifkolt, there have been attempts to require more transparency of identity in online postings. I'm really too lazy to look up articles right now, but I know they exist. I'm pretty sure there was legislation and I vaguely remember the EFF testifying before a congressional panel (or writing a letter.. it's vague, sorry) against it. In the end it went nowhere. I think cases like this prove that the amount of anonymity that exists on the Internet currently is enough to allow free speech but not enough to allow too very much of this sort of deceit.

The issues you raised were also at the heart of the Lori Drew case, and that's why the EFF wrote briefs for the defendant.
Post Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:02 pm
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pedavis



Joined: 03 May 2007
Posts: 1425
Location: Illinois, US
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Dan Shay wrote:

An example of astroturfing is the Christian Coalition is known for using their massive phone fundraising bank to call up their donors, ask them if they're with the Coalition on such and such upcoming legislation, and if they are, the Coalition will briefly coach that person on how to lobby the issue and then immediately patch that person through to their local legislators office phone.


brilliant! it's sad to see such great minds go to waste. the ones behind this should be focusing on more important things ie: world domination. go figure, the smartest people at times will act the most stupid.
Post Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:04 pm
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metachronos



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 454
Location: Green Bay, WI
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leifkolt wrote:
metachronos wrote:
Why's it called astroturfing?


Fake Grassroots Marketing = Astroturf


heh clever, I like that.
Post Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:33 pm
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