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Imagine that I was the CEO of a corporation that factory farmed animals in cruel ways that have drawn the attention of the Humane Society and legislation has been proposed to reign in my cruel excesses. If I appeared in an advertisement complaining about how the Humane Society was going to try to force my business to treat animals better and that this would negatively impact my abundant wealth in a small way, few would be moved by my pleas. Fortunately, I have a much better technique available—that of astroturfing. Astroturfing involve concealing those really behind a message or organization to make it appear as if it arose from and is funded by grassroot participants. In this imaginary scenario, I could hire a company to lay down some AstroTurf for me. While astroturfing can be a complicated matter, it typically involves three basic techniques. The first is the use of positive names for the shell organizations created. For example, my AstroTurf organization might be called “Friends. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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