Astroturfing

What does astroturfing mean on social media and in forums?

Faking a grassroots movement

Astroturfing is when an interested party pays social media or forum users to make a product, belief, or policy seem more popular (or unpopular) than it actually is. For example, if Amazon were to pay Twitter users to praise Amazon's warehouse working conditions, that would be astroturfing.

Social media and forum users accuse companies, politicians, and others of astroturfing when they find other users' beliefs to be both odd and oddly coordinated. Continuing the example above, if hundreds of Twitter users began posting about Amazon's "fantastic pay and working conditions" on the same day, that would be a pretty big sign that Amazon had begun an astroturfing campaign.

Where does the name astroturfing come from?

Astroturfing derives its name from astroturf, which is a form of fake grass. Just as astroturf is fake grass, astroturfing is a fake grassroots movement.

Example

"I can't believe Little Debbie had the gall to try to astroturf us."
Even Disney is not immune from claims of astroturfing

Even Disney is not immune from claims of astroturfing

Related Slang

Usage

Last Updated: October 21, 2021

Astroturfing definition

This page explains what the slang term "Astroturfing" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slangit team.

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