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The practice of creating the appearance of grassroots support for a position, as by hiring bloggers to promote that position or establishing ostensibly independent advocacy groups.

[From AstroTurf.]


(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) a PR tactic used in politics and advertising in which actors are paid to display overt and apparently spontaneous grassroots support for a particular product, policy, or event
[C21: from Astroturf, the artificial grass, as this is artifical grassroots support]
ˈastroˌturfer n
References in periodicals archive ?
Or being forced to admit that their Astroturfers have forged--whole-cloth--letters against climate legislation.
With this little, but loud, group, the astroturfers create a media "echo chamber" to make it appear that the "cause" they are advertising represents the views of a much larger percentage of citizens than it actually does.