astroturfing

noun
as·​tro·​turf·​ing | \ ˈa-strə-ˌtər-fiŋ How to pronounce astroturfing (audio) , -ˌstrō- \

Definition of astroturfing

: organized activity that is intended to create a false impression of a widespread, spontaneously arising, grassroots movement in support of or in opposition to something (such as a political policy) but that is in reality initiated and controlled by a concealed group or organization (such as a corporation) Classic astroturfing is the practice of disguising an orchestrated campaign as a spontaneous upwelling of public opinion. … The term itself appears to have been coined in 1985 by then Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen, who noted that the mountains of letters he received about legislation on insurance originated with insurers.New Scientist, 10 Feb. 2007 The modern form of astroturfing uses the Internet, and corporations, religious groups with a social agenda, and public interest groups can flood an in-box in an hour with e-mails that may come from a single source using many accounts.— Alan Boraas, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Apr. 2009

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First Known Use of astroturfing

1993, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for astroturfing

astroturf (metaphorically opposed to grass roots) + -ing entry 3

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Time Traveler for astroturfing

Time Traveler

The first known use of astroturfing was in 1993

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Cite this Entry

“Astroturfing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/astroturfing. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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