In short, I never heard this term “astroturfing” before so it’s time to post the keyword to the Nugget Dictionary. According to Wikipedia, astroturfing is:
“…is the practice of masking the sponsors of a message (e.g. political, advertising, or public relations) to give the appearance of it coming from a disinterested, grassroots participant. Astroturfing is intended to give the statements the credibility of an independent entity by withholding information about the source’s financial connection. The term astroturfing is a derivation of AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass.”
I was reading the Apple 2.0 blog and was introduced to the term in a Philip Elmer-DeWitt post. In the article, Philip detailed how Samsung “hired students to post fake benchmark reviews of HTC’s latest smartphone and reporting – falsely – that they were ‘constantly crashing.’ ” After admitting the wrongdoing, Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission fined Samsung 10 million Taiwanese dollars (or US $340,000) for defaming a rival.
Something to think about today…
Associate Professor of Marketing
Stillman School of Business
Seton Hall University