Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Monbiot on AstroTruf and astroturfing: corrupting the internet and communications #internet #corruption


Behind the posts on this blog, there is a lot of reading and research.  Lately, I have picked up some new words.  From Transparency International, comes the word 'capture'. In discussion about corruption in the water sector, they speak of state and regulatory capture by special and vested interests as corrupt practice. And to-day I have learned from George Monbiot about AstroTurf and astroturfing in his post Reclaim the Cyber-Commons - and, no, this has nothing to do with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.  AstroTurf has to do with Monsanto. Astroturfing is a corrupt practice which could be termed, simply, cyber warfare.

Astroturfing is internet manipulation of one type or another.  It is a corrupt practice, disguised as 'grassroots' individual responses or activism, which benefits some type of organisation - corporate, political, whatever. Apparently much utilised by those wonderfully intelligent super IQ American patriots known as the Tea Party (see picture above which seems to suggest this).

 Pop over and have a look at what George has to say.  He concludes:
The internet is a remarkable gift, which has granted us one of the greatest democratic opportunities since universal suffrage. We’re in danger of losing this global commons as it comes under assault from an army of trolls and flacks, many of them covertly organised or trained. The question for all of us - the Guardian, other websites, everyone who benefits from this resource - is what we intend to do about it. It’s time we fought back and reclaimed the internet for what it does best: exploring issues, testing ideas, opening the debate.
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