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Journal Journal: Nominations 15

If you would like to nominate (or accuse) some user of astroturfing, reply here.

If you are here because you were accused unfairly, feel free to post your defense here, as well.

Some guidelines:

  • Don't nominate ordinary trolls
  • Don't nominate someone just because they post a pro-Company or partisan political comment, or even a series of them. We're looking for people who exhibit a pattern of behavior, not a particular point of view.
  • It's possible to be an astroturfer without even knowing it. You may be one yourself. It's a gray area, since the line between guerilla marketing and simply defending something you like is often hard to place.

Journal Journal: What is the Astroturf Alert? 2

The Astroturf Alert is intended to be a signal to Slashdot readers that a user has been seen posting what looks like astroturf.

Make the Astroturf_Alert your Friend, and the posts of any suspected astroturfers will be flagged as "Foe of Friend" when you read them. If you are moderating, you will be able to consider the astro-status of the poster before you moderate.

If the astroturfers themselves befriend the Astroturf Alert, that will just alert you even more to their status.

(Astroturf_Alert is modeled on, but unrelated to, the Profanity Blacklist).


Journal Journal: What is "astroturfing"?

Astroturfing is the process of laying down a false appearance of "grass roots" support for something.

Unethical companies have used the practice to pollute Usenet, message boards, and anywhere else they can pretend to be a casual user who is a fan of the Company's products.

Astroturfers sometimes work in teams, carrying on conversations. One of them may appear to be a pro-Company zealot (or even an anti-Company zealot), and the other(s) on the team respond in a way that the casual observer sees as positive. That generates a positive view of the Company.

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