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Astroturf and Grassroots

There has been an up tick in the idea of "<a href="http://www.network-centricadvocacy.net/2003/10/letter_to_the_e.html">Astroturfing becuse of the military campaign to astroturf letters to the editor.</a> "Astroturfing" is using technology and mass communication tricks to artificially create the appearance of a grassroots movement supporting a position.

There are a few tricks to monitor "astroturfing." These tricks include putting key phrases into Google to see if many papers are cranking out letters to the editor from different people that use identical language.<a href="http://www.politechbot.com/p-04332.html"> Declan McCullagh of CNET's News.com </a>documents an example in his blog

Additionally, there has been a rapid growth of companies that specialize in artificially creating the appearance of a grassroots movement. The larger problem for the movement is that as the costs of these services drop the impact of genuine grassroots work is cheapened. (ie...weighing letters or simply counting call volume).

<strong>Examples of companies that create the appearance of grassroots support:</strong>

<a href="http://www.democracydata.com/nav.asp">Democracy Data - DDC</a> provides leading technology, communications, and support services for the public affairs operations of corporations, trade associations, and interest groups. By combining Internet solutions with telephone and direct mail recruitment, DDC enables clients to conduct exceptional grassroots and PAC programs both online and off-line.

<a href="http://www.hillwatch.com/">Hillwatch Inc.</a> is a full service government relations firm that combines traditional lobbying strengths with the latest digital campaigning techniques.

<a href="http://www.gnossos.com/company/testimonials.html">Gnossos Software</a> translates expert knowledge into software features you can use right away. Gnossos builds more than state-of-the-art technology into public affairs and government relations software. Our expertise in managing political action committees and grassroots programs at the federal and state levels helps assure new ease and effectiveness for your efforts.

<strong>The Good News</strong>
Technology from spam filters and search capabilities are starting to catch these "like" messages more quickly. Gannet searches quickly picked up the similar letters from the solders.

December 9, 2003 in Advocacy, Current Affairs, GMT Tips and Tricks, Organizing, Web/Tech | Permalink


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This blog posting was of great use in learning new information and also in exchanging our views. Thank you.

Tyrell parkins


Posted by: Tyrell parkins at May 24, 2006 5:23:13 AM

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