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(Salon)   Internet kills another art form: the rent-a-protest-crowd astroturf business   (salon.com ) divider line
    More: Sad, D-Texas, astroturfing, Matt Kibbe, Rosie Perez, cigarette taxes, Time Warner Cable, public sphere  
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8805 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Apr 2013 at 1:46 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-14 01:01:24 PM  
I read that article - and it seemed to say the opposite, subby.
 
2013-04-14 01:27:38 PM  
Thank heavens the paid link aggregator model is still alive and well.
 
2013-04-14 01:30:42 PM  
Reddit has seen its share of manipulation, from sock-puppet accounts that accumulate large amounts of "karma" and then are sold to the highest bidder or viral marketing schemes like this recent Olive Garden receipt controversy.

Charming.

Between obvious shills for Big Oil muddying the waters of the AGW debate to a vast array of other one trick/topic ponies in online forums (looking at you gun threads) the existence of these paid shills is no surprise to anyone who's spent a lot of time online.

I was not aware however that it was Lloyd Bentson who coined the term "astroturf" as a way of describing  fake grass roots organizations way back in 1985.

That's a good one to know.
 
2013-04-14 01:53:01 PM  
Basically the article is summed up as... "People sometimes get paid to go to rallies... So this must be what happened with the Tea Party!"

No, that's not what happened with the Tea Party. They're not even really all that active any longer and you're still trying to prove something was "wrong" with them. What, because they weren't rioting, destroying property, getting arrested, or being connected with terrorist plots like OWS they weren't real or something?
 
2013-04-14 01:56:51 PM  
 
2013-04-14 01:58:07 PM  
FTFA
The strategy was to frame their network as a public service of sorts, a way that the less fortunate might expose themselves to high culture.

As if poor people have the capacity to appreciate high culture.
 
2013-04-14 01:58:30 PM  

randomjsa: Basically the article is summed up as... "People sometimes get paid to go to rallies... So this must be what happened with the Tea Party!"

No, that's not what happened with the Tea Party. They're not even really all that active any longer and you're still trying to prove something was "wrong" with them. What, because they weren't rioting, destroying property, getting arrested, or being connected with terrorist plots like OWS they weren't real or something?


How much did the ows people get paid for shiatting on cop cars, throwing molotov cocktails, destroying property, or all those sexual assaults?

Who would pay for those horrible things?
 
2013-04-14 01:58:47 PM  
" it was, itself, a piece of performance art in which politics and business blended and became indistinguishable. "

Exactly. This is nothing new, however,as  the founder of our country, George Washington, was notorious for this kind of performance. He would hold a political rally and his business associates would supply free beer. Most people came for the free beer but it made the crowd look larger and more enthusiastic. Sometimes the crowd got so drunk they became mini riots. The only difference now is that these people get paid directly and can buy whatever they want, rather than being stuck with beer.
 
2013-04-14 01:59:37 PM  
TFA:

Rallies in support of ridiculous liberal causes are run by lawyers paying random people to show up and pretend they support the cause.

And some rich Tea Party guy funds some political organizations which have nothing to do with Astroturfing.
 
2013-04-14 01:59:44 PM  
The time-bomb popup ads on that page were nice.

Fu*ck you, Salon.
 
2013-04-14 02:04:21 PM  
What do you mean "was an astroturfer."

Did the mods crack down on global warming threads?
 
2013-04-14 02:05:04 PM  

worlddan: " it was, itself, a piece of performance art in which politics and business blended and became indistinguishable. "

Exactly. This is nothing new, however,as  the founder of our country, George Washington, was notorious for this kind of performance. He would hold a political rally and his business associates would supply free beer. Most people came for the free beer but it made the crowd look larger and more enthusiastic. Sometimes the crowd got so drunk they became mini riots. The only difference now is that these people get paid directly and can buy whatever they want, rather than being stuck with beer.


www.bluedragoncomics.com
 
2013-04-14 02:05:33 PM  
Total BS.  Like the "I was a paid troll" article.  A bunch of people have a position with which I disagree - they must be paid!
 
2013-04-14 02:09:30 PM  

quatchi: Between obvious shills for Big Oil muddying the waters of the AGW debate


I'm okay with Big Oil doing it. What bothers me, though, is when the climatologists themselves show data that demonstrate that global average temperatures have, if anything, declined over the past 15+ years.

www.woodfortrees.org

I mean, what an amazing disservice. When people look at the climatologists' own data, and they show 15+ years of cooling, grass roots folks may be inclined to believe that, you know, temperatures have declined over the past 15+ years. And we can't have that.
 
2013-04-14 02:09:48 PM  

quatchi: Reddit has seen its share of manipulation, from sock-puppet accounts that accumulate large amounts of "karma" and then are sold to the highest bidder or viral marketing schemes like this recent Olive Garden receipt controversy.

Charming.

Between obvious shills for Big Oil muddying the waters of the AGW debate to a vast array of other one trick/topic ponies in online forums (looking at you gun threads) the existence of these paid shills is no surprise to anyone who's spent a lot of time online.

I was not aware however that it was Lloyd Bentson who coined the term "astroturf" as a way of describing  fake grass roots organizations way back in 1985.

That's a good one to know.


Bentsen was an outstanding politician. Wish he were still around.
 
2013-04-14 02:11:04 PM  
I was interested to note that they actually provide a link to a site that offers to auction your reddit account...
www.inscipa.com
1: Create a fake one
2: Get as many people as possible to set up troll accounts and join the group
3: Sell the result
4: ?????
5: Profit (more)

The possibilities are endless...
 
2013-04-14 02:12:03 PM  

tenpoundsofcheese: randomjsa: Basically the article is summed up as... "People sometimes get paid to go to rallies... So this must be what happened with the Tea Party!"

No, that's not what happened with the Tea Party. They're not even really all that active any longer and you're still trying to prove something was "wrong" with them. What, because they weren't rioting, destroying property, getting arrested, or being connected with terrorist plots like OWS they weren't real or something?

How much did the ows people get paid for shiatting on cop cars, throwing molotov cocktails, destroying property, or all those sexual assaults?

Who would pay for those horrible things?


George Soros: http://www.humanevents.com/2011/10/21/george-soros-funds-occupy-wall- s treet/
Ben and Jerrys: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203833004577249811049566 178.html
 
2013-04-14 02:16:36 PM  

randomjsa: Basically the article is summed up as... "People sometimes get paid to go to rallies... So this must be what happened with the Tea Party!"

No, that's not what happened with the Tea Party. They're not even really all that active any longer and you're still trying to prove something was "wrong" with them. What, because they weren't rioting, destroying property, getting arrested, or being connected with terrorist plots like OWS they weren't real or something?


Pretty much. It starts out with him talking about being paid to rally for a liberal cause and since the Tea Party has big money sponsors they must do the same.

Easy fallacy to spot.
 
2013-04-14 02:17:36 PM  

ArmednHammered: tenpoundsofcheese: randomjsa: Basically the article is summed up as... "People sometimes get paid to go to rallies... So this must be what happened with the Tea Party!"

No, that's not what happened with the Tea Party. They're not even really all that active any longer and you're still trying to prove something was "wrong" with them. What, because they weren't rioting, destroying property, getting arrested, or being connected with terrorist plots like OWS they weren't real or something?

How much did the ows people get paid for shiatting on cop cars, throwing molotov cocktails, destroying property, or all those sexual assaults?

Who would pay for those horrible things?

George Soros: http://www.humanevents.com/2011/10/21/george-soros-funds-occupy-wall- s treet/
Ben and Jerrys: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203833004577249811049566 178.html


supporting a big-finance protest does not equal supporting bad things happening at said events.
 
2013-04-14 02:19:32 PM  
It is so cute that the author refers to Wikipedia as a neutral platform

+1 funny for them
 
2013-04-14 02:20:13 PM  

johnnieconnie: Bentsen was an outstanding politician. Wish he were still around.


Eeyup.

I remember a time when Texas gave us pols like Lloyd Bentson and Ann Richards.

*looks around and sees the pack of hapless assclown pols currently representing Texas*

*sighs*
 
2013-04-14 02:20:34 PM  

tenpoundsofcheese: It is so cute that the author refers to Wikipedia as a neutral platform

+1 funny for them


Wikipedia is a neutral platform. The people who flood the platform and stake out positions aren't neutral, however.
 
2013-04-14 02:21:17 PM  

Egalitarian: ArmednHammered: tenpoundsofcheese: randomjsa: Basically the article is summed up as... "People sometimes get paid to go to rallies... So this must be what happened with the Tea Party!"

No, that's not what happened with the Tea Party. They're not even really all that active any longer and you're still trying to prove something was "wrong" with them. What, because they weren't rioting, destroying property, getting arrested, or being connected with terrorist plots like OWS they weren't real or something?

How much did the ows people get paid for shiatting on cop cars, throwing molotov cocktails, destroying property, or all those sexual assaults?

Who would pay for those horrible things?

George Soros: http://www.humanevents.com/2011/10/21/george-soros-funds-occupy-wall- s treet/
Ben and Jerrys: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203833004577249811049566 178.html

supporting a big-finance protest does not equal supporting bad things happening at said events.


They never denounced these events and increased their support after the events.

Stop white knighting them.
 
2013-04-14 02:29:16 PM  

SevenizGud: quatchi: Between obvious shills for Big Oil muddying the waters of the AGW debate

I'm okay with Big Oil doing it. What bothers me, though, is when the climatologists themselves show data that demonstrate that global average temperatures have, if anything, declined over the past 15+ years.

[www.woodfortrees.org image 640x480]

I mean, what an amazing disservice. When people look at the climatologists' own data, and they show 15+ years of cooling, grass roots folks may be inclined to believe that, you know, temperatures have declined over the past 15+ years. And we can't have that.


Wow, fantastic.  You picked the one record high on that data set and used it as your starting point.    farking amazing that somehow that produces a negative trend.
 
2013-04-14 02:48:43 PM  
FTFA: 'Many key players in the Tobacco-funded groups Citizens for a Sound Economy and FreedomWorks went on to play a major role in the formation of the contemporary Tea Party. Likewise, Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, and CSE by the notorious billionaire Koch brothers, who have poured their wealth into causes such as abolishing social security, welfare and public schools.'

Wow. And yet NOT ONE MENTION of George Soros/The Ford Foundation/The Heinz Foundation/The Duke Charitable Trust et al who give hundreds of millions of dollars to support Leftist causes/ invented 'astro-turfing'/make up 100s of 'advocate groups' who share board members and many times have little to no actual members - just a PO box.

I also see no mention of any Right wing demonstrators getting paid.

Interesting subby but you've ignored 95% of the story - the 95% that covers the facts about 'astro-turfing' and ginning up 'public' support being a scam perpetrated by the Left.
 
2013-04-14 02:51:08 PM  
"Astroturf" is a wonderful way to cheapen solidarity. Have people from all over found your argument compelling and your cause worthwhile? You better hope they don't tell anyone or show up to your event, because they are just cheap fake grass for jocks to step on!
 
2013-04-14 02:51:16 PM  
FTFAstroturfer's agreement: We ask that you DO NOT under any circumstances talk to the press or media on our behalf or discuss anything about your attendance or compensation with them.


I wonder if any of those are legally binding, during or after-the-fact.
 
2013-04-14 02:52:45 PM  
lol... Why do I have the feeling almost every post in this thread has been paid for?

Keep up the good work boys! You're really earning that $.50 a post.
 
2013-04-14 02:54:13 PM  

randomjsa: Basically the article is summed up as... "People sometimes get paid to go to rallies... So this must be what happened with the Tea Party!"

No, that's not what happened with the Tea Party. They're not even really all that active any longer and you're still trying to prove something was "wrong" with them. What, because they weren't rioting, destroying property, getting arrested, or being connected with terrorist plots like OWS they weren't real or something?


You want to see astroturfing, check out a union protest.
 
2013-04-14 02:55:11 PM  
Is that what passes for journalism now at Salon?  I could have a crapped a better written, less partisan, and more accurate article when I was 12......
 
2013-04-14 02:56:03 PM  

ArmednHammered: George Soros....


From the linked article:

The nonprofit organization at the receiving end of Soros' largesse, Alliance for Global Justice, is managing donations benefiting the communists, socialists, anarchists and hippies now occupying Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan.

Nice 'news' source there. Keep on believing....

/article about political astroturfers, fark fills with the usual suspects
 
2013-04-14 02:58:12 PM  
Irony: this thread is chock-full of sock-puppets agreeing with each other.

The meta-humor in this thread is hilarious.
 
2013-04-14 03:00:14 PM  
i75.photobucket.com
 
2013-04-14 03:00:44 PM  

TheBigJerk: Irony: this thread is chock-full of sock-puppets agreeing with each other.

The meta-humor in this thread is hilarious.


Agreed.

;-p

wher payoff Soros? WHAR?!
 
2013-04-14 03:03:38 PM  
And it's particularly infurilarious when they Smart vote for themselves and each other.

I really wish Drew would make it so that you couldn't smart/funny vote for yourself or your alts.
 
2013-04-14 03:10:02 PM  

ikanreed: Wow, fantastic. You picked the one record high on that data set and used it as your starting point. farking amazing that somehow that produces a negative trend.


Not saying this is actually happening but it could also be that with climate change regulations being in place for some time now they are actually helping stabilize global temperatures... which would mean they actually work.

lulz
 
2013-04-14 03:16:14 PM  
Wow, memories are pretty short around here.  I was sure this would be the first thing posted.
www.democrats.com
 
2013-04-14 03:22:22 PM  
Me thinks the conserva-shills doth protest too much.
 
2013-04-14 03:22:37 PM  

tenpoundsofcheese: randomjsa: Basically the article is summed up as... "People sometimes get paid to go to rallies... So this must be what happened with the Tea Party!"

No, that's not what happened with the Tea Party. They're not even really all that active any longer and you're still trying to prove something was "wrong" with them. What, because they weren't rioting, destroying property, getting arrested, or being connected with terrorist plots like OWS they weren't real or something?

How much did the ows people get paid for shiatting on cop cars, throwing molotov cocktails, destroying property, or all those sexual assaults?

Who would pay for those horrible things?

static.seekingalpha.com
 
2013-04-14 03:24:42 PM  

here to help: lol... Why do I have the feeling almost every post in this thread has been paid for?

Keep up the good work boys! You're really earning that $.50 a post.


If you are only get 50 cents a post you are doing it wrong. Way wrong.
 
2013-04-14 03:25:44 PM  

ikanreed: Wow, fantastic. You picked the one record high on that data set and used it as your starting point. farking amazing that somehow that produces a negative trend.


Any time someone is tracking a trend with weird start or end dates, it's pretty much proof that they are cherry-picking.
 
2013-04-14 03:27:37 PM  
Pretty much any movement in history is a mix of grassroots and astroturfing.

If a movement sticks around along enough, there will be some financial interest that will figure out a way they can exploit it.

A totally grassroots organization is probably impossible anyways.  Eventually they'll have to figure out a way to feed and shelter themself and that usually means toiling away at some crappy job and being too tired to do anything else in their free time.  The only real grassroots movements are just a bunch of idiots on the side of the road with cardboard signs for a couple hours on the weekend that everybody ignores.
 
2013-04-14 03:28:14 PM  

No Such Agency: Wow, memories are pretty short around here.  I was sure this would be the first thing posted.
[www.democrats.com image 599x382]


Too busy turning this into a Soros thread.  It's like it's 2007 all over again.
 
2013-04-14 03:28:37 PM  

GORDON: randomjsa: Basically the article is summed up as... "People sometimes get paid to go to rallies... So this must be what happened with the Tea Party!"

No, that's not what happened with the Tea Party. They're not even really all that active any longer and you're still trying to prove something was "wrong" with them. What, because they weren't rioting, destroying property, getting arrested, or being connected with terrorist plots like OWS they weren't real or something?

You want to see astroturfing, check out a union protest.


No joke. I was talking with one of my people about the Rite Aid strike here a year or so ago. They said they got notices in the mail to go hold signs and stand in solidarity with their union brothers and sisters. At another company. That was striking to get benefits the company couldn't afford. And by them striking they were driving customers to them. Yeah, nobody went.
 
2013-04-14 03:33:27 PM  

TheBigJerk: Irony: this thread is chock-full of sock-puppets agreeing with each other.

The meta-humor in this thread is hilarious.


You've done an excellent job supporting your assertion.
 
2013-04-14 03:35:17 PM  
I don't mean to threadsh*t here but I seriously wonder about this...

In regards to the GW debate I watched a seemingly non shill documentary about how according to historical trends we should actually be descending into an ice age right about now but aren't because of pollutants in the atmosphere. This was only briefly mentioned in the doc (it was more about geology than anything else) so it really didn't seem like there was some agenda behind the statement. The problem was that we are dumping TOO much crap into the atmosphere so we're not just cancelling out a naturally occurring ice age we were causing an opposite effect.

So my question is why do you never hear the GW deniers say that by polluting we are actually preventing a catastrophic ice age? Seems like that would be a better argument then complete denial.
 
2013-04-14 03:39:30 PM  
From a story linked in the article:

In 1993, an ad executive working for Phillip Morris proposed that the Coalition Against Regressive Taxation form a new campaign that, 20 years later, sounds a lot like what we know today: "Grounded in the theme of 'The New American Tax Revolution' or 'The New Boston Tea Party,' the campaign should take the form of citizens representing the widest constituency base mobilized with signage and other attention-drawing accoutrements such as lapel buttons, handouts, petitions and even costumes."

The Tobacco Control study cites a 1995 memo by another tobacco strategist, calling for the industry to "quarterback behind the scenes, third-party efforts" that would support its agenda. In 2002, Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE), which had received funding from the tobacco industry since the late Eighties, set up a website for the "US Tea Party." The tobacco-funded organization later split to become Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works - two groups still closely associated with the Tea Party as we now know it. According to the study's authors, both groups "continue to advocate on behalf of the tobacco industry's anti-tax, anti-regulation agenda."

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/big-tobaccos-tea-party-ties - exposed-20130213#ixzz2QT6W4OlU
 
2013-04-14 03:40:39 PM  

tenpoundsofcheese: here to help: lol... Why do I have the feeling almost every post in this thread has been paid for?

Keep up the good work boys! You're really earning that $.50 a post.

If you are only get 50 cents a post you are doing it wrong. Way wrong.


Considering I'd be on the libby libturd side I doubt I could make mad bank like you.

Stupid soul screwing up my cash flow.
 
2013-04-14 03:45:42 PM  
Abstract
Background The Tea Party, which gained prominence in the USA in 2009, advocates limited government and low taxes. Tea Party organisations, particularly Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, oppose smoke-free laws and tobacco taxes.
Methods We used the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, the Wayback Machine, Google, LexisNexis, the Center for Media and Democracy and the Center for Responsive Politics (opensecrets.org) to examine the tobacco companies' connections to the Tea Party.
Results Starting in the 1980s, tobacco companies worked to create the appearance of broad opposition to tobacco control policies by attempting to create a grassroots smokers' rights movement. Simultaneously, they funded and worked through third-party groups, such as Citizens for a Sound Economy, the predecessor of AFP and FreedomWorks, to accomplish their economic and political agenda. There has been continuity of some key players, strategies and messages from these groups to Tea Party organisations. As of 2012, the Tea Party was beginning to spread internationally.
Conclusions Rather than being a purely grassroots movement that spontaneously developed in 2009, the Tea Party has developed over time, in part through decades of work by the tobacco industry and other corporate interests. It is important for tobacco control advocates in the USA and internationally, to anticipate and counter Tea Party opposition to tobacco control policies and ensure that policymakers, the media and the public understand the longstanding connection between the tobacco industry, the Tea Party and its associated organisations.

http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2013/02/07/tobaccocontro l- 2012-050815.abstract
 
2013-04-14 03:46:21 PM  
They hate grass.  They always have, they always will.
 
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