by Amelia G : June 25th, 2008

astroturf vs astroturfingAstroturfing is the word of the week. My brother just told me that one of his model/starfucker friends just called him up to chortle over the word astroturfing. This tells me that it is officially part of the internet lexicon and everybody needs to know the expression.

The term is, like the term spam, derived from an actual product. AstroTurf is the leading brand of fake grass ground covering. Developed in 1964, AstroTurf has been a particular boon for major sports arenas in areas where real grass is not easily grown or cared for. AstroTurf takes their products very seriously and promises to provide whatever is needed for every possible sport:

” The broad range of AstroTurf products ensures that there will be a synthetic turf system engineered to meet the demands of your team’s sport. Whether it’s a field hockey team that prefers the hydrophilic properties of AstroTurf 12™, or a soccer team that prefers the high-density fiber of AstroTurf PureGrass®.

Whatever sport your team plays, there’s an AstroTurf product ready to take the field.”

Grass roots support used to be what you called it when a band or political candidate had a lot of people who believed in them, whether or not the record labels or political machine did. Astroturfing is the act of faking grass roots support.

For example, if you see a point being made over and over again on MySpace or LiveJournal or in forums, and the point is usually made by people who nobody knows in real life, who tell you nothing plausible about themselves, and who do not have known online nicks, then you are probably looking at astroturfing. This means that, when you see certain points made over and over again, by potential sock puppets . . .

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