Astroturf Epidemic

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The following is a commentary and analysis

Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican–or someone who doesn’t care at all about politics–it’s hard not to notice the massive campaigns to influence opinion on social media, the news and out there in real life. Those trying to persuade and manipulate are playing hardball. And, in many instances, we’re falling for it: they plop the ball in the middle of a frenzied crowd, nobody sees exactly who dropped it, and we in the news and the public pick it up and run.

We’re being played.

Watch my TedX Talk: Astroturf and Manipulation of Media Messages

As I’ve reported and written: Astroturfers often disguise themselves and publish blogs, write letters to the editor, produce ads, start non-profits, establish Facebook and Twitter accounts, edit Wikipedia pages or simply post comments online to try to fool you into thinking an independent or grassroots movement is speaking. They use their partners in blogs and in the news media in an attempt to lend an air of legitimacy or impartiality to their efforts. Astroturf’s biggest accomplishment is when it crosses over into semi-trusted news organizations that unquestioningly cite or copy it.

The whole point of astroturf is to try to convince you there’s widespread support for or against an agenda when there’s not.

The language of astroturfers and propagandists includes trademark inflammatory terms such as: anti, nutty, quack, crank, pseudo-science, debunking, conspiracy theory, deniers and junk science. Sometimes astroturfers claim to “debunk myths” that aren’t myths at all. They declare debates over that aren’t over. They claim that “everybody agrees” when everyone doesn’t agree. They aim to make you think you’re an outlier when you’re not.

#FoodForThought

Top 10 Astroturfers

Watch Full Measure Sundays for #originalnews Check TV listings or watch replays anytime at www.FullMeasure.news

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3 Responses to “Astroturf Epidemic”

  1. Ralph Braly
    February 6, 2017 at 4:47 pm #

    You are the only reporter I trust. Keep up your great work. Hope I can shake your hand one day.

  2. Robert F Alexander
    February 6, 2017 at 10:47 pm #

    Sharyl i’ve been looking for an investigative journalist thats not afraid to do a little bit a work ask some hard questions like why would I lie ? I’m a father of three a grandfather a business owner and registered Republican. The last thing I want to do is destroy my reputation by making some false allegation about 9/11 . People say they want the truth I’m not a conspiracy guy none of that bullshit . I just want to go into a federal court of law . And tell same exact story I told CIA in September 2001 . And I’ll challenge you the same challenge I gave the San Diego bureau of the FBI and POTUS President Trump. Take the time prove my true story is a lie ! Told him I only asked for two things in a federal court of law airport video surveillance of August 24, 2001 of me . And recorded incoming conversations made to the San Diego bureau of the FBI Prior to 9/11 from August 26-September 7 201 . Help me tell my story it’s a true story not fiction. Its not made up . hypnotize me ,polygraph me whatever you would like to do ? But break the fucking story already.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Chuck Todd: Mainstream Media Propaganda Whore – moralmatters.org - February 16, 2017

    […] Astroturf Epidemic – by Investigative Journalist, SHARYL ATTKISSON – sharylattkisson.com/astroturf-epidemic/ […]

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