Digital astroturfing in politics: Definition, typology, and countermeasures

Marko Kovic, Marc Sele, Christian Caspar & Adrian Rauchfleisch
In recent years, several instances of political actors who created fake grassroots activity on the Internet have been uncovered. We propose to call such fake online grassroots activity digital astroturfing, and we define it as a form of manufactured, deceptive and strategic top-down activity on the Internet initiated by political actors that mimics bottom-up activity by autonomous individuals. The goal of this paper is to lay out a conceptual map of the phenomenon of digital...
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